[Guest post by DRJ]
In 2006, Mary Winkler shot her husband as he slept in bed. She was charged with murder and convicted of voluntary manslaughter after claiming her husband was abusive. Winkler was sentenced to 3 years in prison. She served 12 days in jail, was treated for 55 days in a mental health facility, and was released on probation.
Last Friday, Mary Winkler regained full, permanent custody of her 3 daughters (ages 3, 9, and 11) who had been living with her husband’s parents.
I’m not questioning the legality of this decision and I have no personal knowledge about the case other than what I’ve read in the news. I hope this decision is in the best interests of the children. However, I am concerned that a court would return children to the custody of a parent convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of the other parent absent extraordinary circumstances, remorse, and prolonged rehabilitation – and those don’t appear to be present here.
In addition, I think it’s questionable to take children away from a home they’ve lived in for almost 3 years, especially where the youngest is only 3. Finally, I think 12 days jail-time is a joke and that it’s strange the community appeared to quickly accept and forgive Mary Winkler’s acts.
Other than that, I’m fine with this.