Judge Sentences Alabama Woman To Death For Murder Of Autistic Son – WHNT

August 6, 2009
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Judge Sentences Alabama Woman To Death For Murder Of Autistic Son – WHNT

Judge Dempsey also wrote in his sentencing order, “To intentionally murder your child by burning him is shockingly evil.”

During the trial, the state presented evidence that Mason, who was autistic, had a total of $175,000 worth of life insurance when he died. Christie Scott took out a $100,000 policy the day before her son died. Someone had also removed expensive jewelry and pictures from the home. Investigators also found an undamaged smoke detector in the ashes. It was believed to have been taken down before the fire.

Defense attorney Robert Tuten argued the fire was accidental and there was no proof Scott set the fire. Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing contended Scott set the fire to collect her son’s life insurance money and to relieve herself of the burden of caring for an autistic child. Rushing pushed for the death penalty.

“To me, the fact that she chose that manner of death for a child that was scared of fire puts her in a category that not only is possible for death, it definitely deserves the death penalty,” says Rushing….

In their verdict, jurors found Scott guilty of three counts of capital murder:
Capital murder for pecuniary/monetary gain
Capital murder committed during first-degree arson
Capital murder of a person younger than 14 years of age

I just don’t know what to say. Here it is autism related, but other times you hear about it being about family honour. I don’t support the death penalty myself, and I can’t say that I support it here. Selfish criminal homicidal stupidity that allows you to not see someone as human and worthy of life… that’s what strikes me. And the ability of people to see people who are different as non-human is what astounds me, and it is something that I think is both learned and repairable over time. Not with her… but societally. That’s what is motivating me about notions of inclusive education.

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