Alabama child abusers and the death penalty
By Joel Hendon
It is a recognized fact that most child abuse comes from family members, either a parent, close relative or caretaker, and comes as sexual abuse, emotional abuse or physical abuse. All are reprehensible and the perpetrators deserve commensurate punishment. One of the most difficult to understand is the harsh physical abuse resulting in murder by a parent. A mother’s love for her children has always been considered the most intense of any earthly love...in humans and other animals. But there are some who are “without natural affection” to coin a phrase from the Holy Bible.
Sitting on death row since 2002, Patricia Blackmon 41, was convicted of killing her 2 year old adopted daughter, Dominiqua Bryant. Patricia was 29 years old at the time, and was given a death sentence. The story according to court records is difficult to comprehend.
According to records, Dominiqua suffered broken bones, multiple skull fractures and even a foot imprint left on her little chest! A 2 year old baby had to endure this. Blackmon recently appealed to the court, pleading she did not deserve the death penalty. Her basis for this claim was that the child was likely to have been unconscious during most of the beating. The assumption here is that she was put out of her misery early in the beating.
The appellate court rightly denied her appeal and also a request for a retrial. So she sits on Death Row in Tutwiler Prison for women in Wetumpka, Alabama, southeast of Birmingham. If her opportunities for appeals are all taken she will likely have some 20 more years before her execution.