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Mary Barnett Case Study Essay

Mary Barnett, the mother of a six month old daughter, left for San Francisco to see her fiance. Leaving her daughter behind, she returned seven days later to find her child dead. After calling the police and telling them she left the child with a baby sitter, she later told them this was not true and that she left the daughter on purpose knowing the consequences. A trial was then conducted to determine if she would be convicted of second degree murder and be sentenced to 18 years.

The witnesses and information they provided was laid before me and I am to determine with the evidence presented whether Mary Barnett is rightfully guilty or not guilty. The first witness for the case was a woman named Caroline Haspers who lived in the same apartment building as Mary. She recalled on January 30th that Mary looked distraught and that her daughter was not with her. She also provided information that was not relevant to the charges saying that, “I always thought Ms. Barnett was a disgrace-I mean, she didn’t have a husband. ” Given that she did not have a husband, this does not necessarily justify that she was a bad mother or give credible evidence for a reason as to why she left her daughter unattended.

Most of the information she provided was biased and not credible to the case. For example, Caroline said the defendant partied and did not take care of the child properly and was not a fit mother. However, it was not specified what specific events or actions made Mary an unfit mother for her child. As a result, this leads to influencing the verdict of the jury and I find her testimony not important in the decision of this case. The second witness, Policeman A, was called to the apartment by Mary on January 30th.

Upon arriving he described her as distraught and extremely upset. Her original story said that she eft her baby with a sitter when she left and returned to her deceased baby; however, when asked what happened in detail she changed her story. This second response said, “I remember making airline reservations for my trip. Then I tried to find a baby sitter, but I couldn’t. I knew that I was leaving Alison alone and that I wouldn’t be coming back for a while, but I had to get to California at all costs.

I visited my mother and then left. The information provided by Policeman A provided valuable information and was certainly credible. The defendant was negligent of the child and clearly stated that she knew she was eaving behind her daughter even though she could not find a sitter, which also showed she knew from right and wrong. Two other witnesses that provided information about the defendant were both professional psychiatrist. Dr. Parker interviewed her several times to determine if she was competent and ruled that Mary Barnett was able to stand trial.

Yet, her personal psychiatrist, Dr. Bloom, that saw Mary twice a week for four months said otherwise about her ability to stand trial. Dr. Bloom said that Mary was suffering from postpartum disease and in turn resolved to alcohol. The alcohol only xaggerated the condition leaving her desperate when trying to talk to her fiance which resided in California. Therefore, she said Mary was emotionally disturbed and that is why she was unaware of the situation. Given that Dr. Bloom was with Mary for a long period of time and could potentially be biased I find her testimony biased.

Therefore, since Dr. Parker was appointed to interview for the judicial hearing her testimony is far more credible to the decision of the case. The last witness and defendant, Mary Barnett took the stand to make her case. While trying to make her case she denied aying anything she told the cop and said she would never hurt Alison like she did knowingly. She was desperate in the attempt to see her fiance Tim in which she explained she would have possibly been distracted and assumed her daughter was taken care of by a baby sitter.

I think that Mary was remorseful for what she had done; however, I believe she knew what she was doing and that some of her reactions could have been geared toward the thought of possibly going to jail. What I do not understand is why was Tim not put on the stand to verify the story of Mary Barnett or why not her mother since in one of her stories she said she visited her? If they would have been put on the stand this possibly could have helped provide additional information for the verdict of the case. For example, Tim could have verified that she did go visit him or he could have given nsight on what kind of a mother Mary was.

We do not know exactly how biased this information would have been given that it would have been provided but I feel that that information to be more important or credible to the case than what was provided by Mary’s neighbor Caroline. In this trial there are numerous facts or bits of information that put forth good effort to present the case on either side. Although there were several individuals that could provide personal experience to vouch for Mary Barnett, I believe the facts that were given were biased and not important to the main point or relevancy of the case.

Caroline Haspers was one of the individuals that had little to no essential information to either prove or disprove the case of Mary Barnett. Although her own psychiatrist made some very good points to support her absence of logic or memory when leaving her daughter, Alison, I had to believe the credibility of the appointed psychiatrist more so than that of Dr. Bloom. Not saying that Dr. Bloom’s erspective was not credible or right but considering the other facts given in the case I felt that the information was unfit. I say this because Mary had changed her story several times.

One time she said she left Alison with a baby sitter. Another time she responded later saying that she left her knowingly and knew that her girl would die while she went to see her fiance Tim. Then, another time she said she went to see her mother and left right after. However, if she would have visited her mother and left, it would not have taken a full seven days until she returned. Therefore, the information given is not enough to prove her not uilty. Although she seemed distraught that her daughter had died, she was fully aware of right from wrong.

She left her child behind, showing neglect of her daughter, Alison. She could not keep a consistent story of the incident and in one of the stories she said she knew the girl would die and she did not intend to come back. Therefore, since she was aware of right and wrong, she was selfish in her attempt to see her fiance and she showed signs of neglect, I have come to the conclusion that Mary Barnett is guilty and should be charged with second-degree murder: intentional murder without premeditation.

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