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Criminal charges after mother accused of abandoning baby

There are certain types of crimes that virtually all Pennsylvania citizens find abhorrent. Chief among these are crimes in which children are harmed or are put in harm's way. When the media reports this type of arrest, the community is often shocked and angered. While this is a natural reaction, it is important to realize that not every case that begins with criminal charges will end in a conviction. In fact, many do not even make it to court, for a variety of reasons.

Take, for example, the recent news coverage of a woman who is accused of attempting to abandon her infant in a charity donation bin. The story has received wide coverage across the state, largely because of the serious nature of the accusations and the outrage that such a case brings. However, upon closer examination, there may be less to this case than many think.

The arrest came after two individuals called police to report that a woman was trying to put a child into a clothing donation bin. However, the reports also state that the two witnesses stopped the woman before the child was placed in any harm, and before calling the police. At that point, the mother walked away with the baby before police arrived and arrested her. There is no indication that the child was placed inside or on the donation bin, or that the infant was in danger at any point during the incident.

As this case moves toward a Pennsylvania court of law, these factors will likely play a significant role in the mother's defense against the criminal charges she faces. In addition to being charged with attempted criminal homicide, she is also charged with child endangerment. Her baby is currently in the custody of the state until the matter is resolved. For those in Pennsylvania who are following the case, it is imperative to remember that many charges do not lead to a conviction, and that many of the incidents reported by the press are far different than initially represented.

Source: wwmt.com, "Pennsylvania facing charges on accusation of trying to leave baby in clothing donation bin", Jan. 28, 2015

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