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Archive for Saturday, May 12, 2007

Rose faces up to 122 months for involuntary manslaughter

District attorney wanted felony murder conviction

May 12, 2007

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Jason Rose found guilty on several charges, but not murder

Jurors reach a verdict in the case of a Lawrence man charged with setting one of the most destructive fires in city history. Prosecutors may have gotten a conviction in the case, however it wasn't the one they were hoping for. Enlarge video

Rose trial verdict

Jason Rose and his attorney Ron Evans listen to the verdict being read out. Enlarge video

Bingham on Rose verdict

Nancy Bingham, mother of Boardwalk fire victim Nicole Bingham, discussing the jury verdict. Enlarge video

A jury on Friday convicted a Lawrence man of setting a deadly apartment fire in 2005 but stopped short of convicting him of first-degree murder - a verdict that the county's top prosecutor said was "inconsistent."

After nearly two days of deliberations, jurors found Jason Allen Rose guilty of three counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of aggravated arson and seven counts of aggravated battery in connection with the October 2005 fire at Lawrence's Boardwalk Apartments.

Rose, who showed no emotion when Judge Jack Murphy read the verdict, will be sentenced June 18. He faces a maximum sentence of 122 months in prison, although he will get credit for the 19 months he's already served in custody. He's also eligible for 15 percent off the sentence if he doesn't have disciplinary problems in prison.

Rose had been charged with first-degree murder under the state's "felony murder" law, which would have carried a penalty of 20 years to life in prison. To prove that charge, prosecutors didn't have to convince jurors that Rose meant to kill anyone, just that he committed an "inherently dangerous felony" - in this case, aggravated arson - that led to the deaths of Nicole Bingham, Yolanda Riddle and Jose Gonzalez.

By convicting Rose of aggravated arson, jurors signaled that they believed he set the fire. But instead of finding him guilty of "felony murder," they found him guilty of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

"There's a little bit of a fiction that's gone on here with regard to what the law is," District Attorney Charles Branson said in a news conference afterward.

Branson said that his office objected to Murphy giving jurors the option of convicting Rose of the lesser homicide charge.

"We achieved the most difficult charge to prove, aggravated arson, but the jury saw fit not to convict on the felony murder charge," he said. "It is inconsistent."

Defense attorney Ron Evans said, "I'm pretty happy. ... Jason wanted an acquittal, but this is the next best thing to it."

Nancy Bingham, mother of fire victim Nicole Bingham, said as she left the law enforcement center that she was comfortable with the jury's decision.

"My job now is just to accept things the way they are," she said. "The jury had to weigh all that evidence and come up with some hard decisions."

Jurors left the law enforcement center without stopping to grant interviews.

Rose's former pastor, the Rev. Leo Barbee of Victory Bible Church, said after the verdict that he thinks Rose is innocent.

"I think there's too many unanswered questions," he said. "My prayer is that the person who really did it will come forward. ... I'm saddened."

- Staff writer Mike Belt contributed to this report.

Comments

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

and also.. did you talk to nancy, did she tell you she was comfortable with it? i don't recall that being said in her interview.. you sure assume alot for someone who has absolutley no involvement in any part of this.

doc1 7 years, 6 months ago

So because he is in Douglas County he will likely get 12 months and then probation out of all of this. Hope I see this guy on the street when he gets out.

compmd 7 years, 6 months ago

Hate to burst your bubble doc1, but given the coverage and local feelings about this case, such an egregious deviation from state sentencing guidelines isn't going to happen. The judge doesn't want the negative press, and the judge especially doesn't want a scenario such as the one you implied in your own post where you came very close to making an open threat in a public forum.

Sigmund 7 years, 6 months ago

I can not think of a better jurist to do sentencing than Judge Murphy. I can assure you that his decision will be straight by the book and favor neither the defense nor the prosecution. His handling of this trial has been exemplary.

Sigmund 7 years, 6 months ago

I too wanted Rose convicted of felony murder, but Branson's complaints are bogus. If the jury didn't return a verdict he wanted then it only means the prosecution failed to prove its case on that charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The last minute witness in the first trail and the DA's insistence on putting her on the stand caused the first mistrial. Considering how weak the blogger witness was on the stand I can only conclude the first trial wasn't going any better and they were looking for a mistrial in an attempt to reorganize what they knew was a weak case.

Janet Lowther 7 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Branson seems to be under the misapprehension that jurors are under some obligation to follow the law.

While the law limits the extent of their action, under the Anglo-American judicial system, a jury's obligation is to JUSTICE, not the law, despite what the standard jury instructions say. (Yes, the Supreme Court has confirmed both that the judge can demand that the jury follow the law, AND that jurors can vote to acquit regardless of the law and the evidence, and that there is no appeal from a jury's acquittal.) This is why the right to "trial by a jury of your peers" is very important!

anonymous25 7 years, 6 months ago

So when did we start caring about the bad press. Almost everyone in this city and the victims families all expected him to go to jail for life. I'm sure if the victims that died were rich white men then he would have gone to jail for life. He killed them plain and simple. He didn't care..You can tell by his face that he is a crazy and demented kid. Who were these Jury members and what the hell is wrong with this city? He'll be out in a year for good behavior. But he'll burn down another house again.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

If you weren't on the jury you have no idea what EXACTLY they were presented with as evidence. Nor do you have the knowledge of all 12 people's backgrounds, intelligence levels, rationality, etc.

Mrs. Bingham has had the best response. She sat there all day, every day. She knows what evidence was presented. She knows what witnesses said or didn't say. She knows what experts did or didn't say.

Sure the kid is messed up, so all you perfect citizens probably can't say without a doubt what this messed up kid actually did. He admitted to it -- two completely different ways and denied it several other different ways. All on tape. So do messed up kids lie? Yes. Do messed up kids tell the truth? Yes.

Ragingbear 7 years, 6 months ago

Punk got off easy. Perhaps the rest of the victims should now sue the city Prosecutor's office for doing such a poor job that he got by with murder.

monkeyspunk 7 years, 6 months ago

I think people are a little confused when they pin the failure to get felony murder on the DAs office. The article is horribly written, you would think with two writers they could have done a better job.

If you commit a felony such as robbery, kidnapping or in this case arson, and a person dies as a result of the crime or the activities immediately following (for example the attempted flight), under Kansas Law, felony murder is supposed to be AUTOMATIC. That is the inconsistency that Branson is referring to. There shouldn't have even been an option for manslaughter, the presence of a felony such as arson automatically rules manslaughter out. Its called the "Felony Murder Rule" or as stated above "felony murder" law.

Branson and his office did exactly what they needed to do. They proved that he set the fires, he was found guilty of aggravated arson, a felony. It should have been guilty of felony murder or innocent. The "out" given to the jury, in the form of manslaughter charges, by Judge Murphy was inappropriate and classic Douglas County.

This just shows, if you give a Douglas County jury an "out", they will take it. In any other county in Kansas, the verdict would have been guilty of felony murder. Lucky for him he was in Lawrence.

Ten years won't help what is obviously a troubled young man. Either lock him away forever or get him some actual help. I am curious as to what he will actually get.

Ragingbear 7 years, 6 months ago

Maybe we should sue the judge too. Just like Paula "You facilitated your own rape" Martin. However, there is a pretty dang big chance that Jeopardy has been attached.

lionheart72661 7 years, 6 months ago

well since my last comment was removed i'll put another and exercise my freedom of speech. I don't know if this Rose guy was mentally instable but evidently the courts said he was stable enough to stand trial. the bottom line is this. This guy intentionally set a fire to an occupied apartment building, notice the word occupied. Now in my eyes that is intentional murder,but i know this one thing to be true. He may not pay fully for his crime now but one day he will have to answer for it. So yes he will do a little jail time now and i'm not trying to judge him either but unless he has a true and honest and sincere change of heart there is one that is the ultimate judge.

reality_check411 7 years, 6 months ago

I have been recently reading the comments posted on this certain topic. Let me start off by saying everyone is intitled to their own opinion. The way you present that opinion on the other hand effects your reactions. I do not know who any of you truly are, and I mean no disrespect out of any comments henceforth. In regards to RAGINGBEAR I find your attitude towards Mr. Kidder to be appauling. This is a place to have respectable conversations and perhaps debates. You may know a little bit about Jason, but I guarantee not as well as I. I do also want to say if you a victim in this fire I send my appologizies for your pain and suffering, both mental and physical. I have to say something about this case has not yet come out. In my beliefs someone knows a lot more than they are admitting to. There are too many pieces of this puzzle missing. I still do not know if he set the fire. After hours of interrigation he confesses, many stories. What you may not understand is that in his mind he wanted to get away from the situation. Even after many times of him denying his involvment they kept telling him that he did do it. This registered something in his mind. He knew that until they heard what they wanted to hear he was not going to be left alone. Maybe some of you think this is some pathetic accuse, but I will have you know that is who he is. It is a deffense mechanism. He was scared, like the deffense mental examiner verified, he is a 7 year old in a young mans body. His mind is scared. All his life he's had to be scared. People do different things in different cituations when they are scared. Something doesn't add up, and I plan to find out what exactly that is. If someone has any information regarding this case please do contact me. Let me end noting that no one knows 100% of what happened with Jason that night. No one ever will, there is no time machine. All we know is what he said, whether creditable or not. All I ask is before you make your rude comments think about what your saying.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

The expert did not say he was a 7 year old in a man's body. I was there. She did say his IQ testing and achievement levels weren't that far off therefore does not qualify him LD.

Who are you? Mr. Kidder with a new screen name? I agree we don't know the whole story.

Ragingbear 7 years, 6 months ago

You can get experts to testify that the sky is made of magic pixie dust too. Doesn't make it any more true. Where was the prosecution's rebuttle witness? Yet another example of our pathetic justice system. Not only do people get screwed left and right, but people that need to be behind bars end up getting 6 months and a fine.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

I think the defense expert did more for the prosecution than the defense, is that what you mean regarding a rebuttle?

Baille 7 years, 6 months ago

21-3201. Criminal intent.

(a) Except as otherwise provided, a criminal intent is an essential element of every crime defined by this code. Criminal intent may be established by proof that the conduct of the accused person was intentional or reckless. Proof of intentional conduct shall be required to establish criminal intent, unless the statute defining the crime expressly provides that the prohibited act is criminal if done in a reckless manner.

(b) Intentional conduct is conduct that is purposeful and willful and not accidental. As used in this code, the terms "knowing," "willful," "purposeful," and "on purpose" are included within the term "intentional."

(c) Reckless conduct is conduct done under circumstances that show a realization of the imminence of danger to the person of another and a conscious and unjustifiable disregard of that danger. The terms "gross negligence," "culpable negligence," "wanton negligence" and "wantonness" are included within the term "recklessness" as used in this code.

21-3401. Murder in the first degree.

Murder in the first degree is the killing of a human being committed:

(a) Intentionally and with premeditation; or

(b) in the commission of, attempt to commit, or flight from an inherently dangerous felony as defined in K.S.A. 21-3436 and amendments thereto.

21-3404. Involuntary manslaughter.

Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of a human being committed:

(a) Recklessly;

(b) in the commission of, or attempt to commit, or flight from any felony, other than an inherently dangerous felony as defined in K.S.A. 21-3436 and amendments thereto, that is enacted for the protection of human life or safety or a misdemeanor that is enacted for the protection of human life or safety, including acts described in K.S.A. 8-1566 and subsection (a) of 8-1568, and amendments thereto, but excluding the acts described in K.S.A. 8-1567 and amendments thereto; or

(c) during the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner.

Baille 7 years, 6 months ago

21-3718. Arson.

(a) Arson is: (1) Knowingly, by means of fire or explosive:

(A) Damaging any building or property which is a dwelling in which another person has any interest without the consent of such other person;

(B) damaging any building or property which is a dwelling with intent to injure or defraud an insurer or lienholder;

(C) damaging any building or property which is not a dwelling in which another person has any interest without the consent of such other person; or

(D) damaging any building or property which is not a dwelling with intent to injure or defraud an insurer or lienholder;

(2) accidentally, by means of fire or explosive as a result of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled substance in violation of K.S.A. 65- 4159, and amendments thereto, damaging any building or property which is a dwelling; or

(3) accidentally, by means of fire or explosive as a result of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled substance in violation of K.S.A. 65- 4159, and amendments thereto, damaging any building or property which is not a dwelling.

21-3719. Aggravated arson.

(a) Aggravated arson is arson, as defined in K.S.A. 21-3718 and amendments thereto:

(1) Committed upon a building or property in which there is a human being; or

(2) which results in great bodily harm or disfigurement to a firefighter or law enforcement officer in the course of fighting or investigating the fire.

shirinisb 7 years, 6 months ago

Great, this SOB will probably serve a few years. What a way to send a message. I'm not a betting woman but I would put money on the fact that he'll commit arson again when he gets out.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

will someone please explain why my comment was removed? am i not allowed to voice an opinion here? it had no foul language, just expressed my disapointment in the outcome of the trial..

prioress 7 years, 6 months ago

m1983: Quit whining. The LJW owns this sandbox and can do whatever they want. Want "free speech?" pay for your own discussion site. As for the trial, I thought the verdict was pretty darned just, given the circumstances and the facts presented.

lionheart72661 7 years, 6 months ago

hey prioress, like i put in my first comment that was removed also with no foul language and not harping on any one individule like you just did, would you still feel that it would be just had you been living there or one of your friends or family members perished or were injured in the fire. Like i stated earlier, God will be the ultimate judge in this. I only hope this young man has a sincere change of heart. so don't go having comments removed. this is a public paper which we do pay for so there is a fact for you.

prioress 7 years, 6 months ago

Well, some may pay for the paper, but it's still their playground. I'm sorry for the loss, but due process and the court system is not based on our emotions. If it were, we'd be in much worse shape than we are now, on this case and many others. Is is possible one of the skygods is paying attention to local news; if so, she will have the last word, won't she?

Kathy Getto 7 years, 6 months ago

Sorry marquis, haven't a clue what you are talking about - I was talking about 1983's comments.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

thanks for being so nice priores, and if you feel that the outcome of the trial is just, you obviously weren't directly effected by Jason Rose's actions.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

marquisdesade, the fact is, Jason is not 7, he's 20, and because of that, there is responsibility for his actions. It's unfortunate that he's had a rough life, but he set a fire that killed 3 people.. i agree, the state, the foster care system he was under, etc dropped the ball, but it doesn't mean he shouldn't be punished for taking lives of others. i honestly don't care about his mental capacity, because at the same time they're saying he is mentally about 7 years old, he's functioning normally to other people, like his pastor,etc..

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

he set the fire.. the social worker may have dropped the ball, but i still stand behind the fact that there is a level of accountability for the actions you take. many people with similar upbringings and circumstances live life without killing other people..

Crispian Paul 7 years, 6 months ago

"m1983 (Anonymous) says:

thanks for being so nice priores, and if you feel that the outcome of the trial is just, you obviously weren't directly effected by Jason Rose's actions."

Well, interestingly, I don't think anyone could be more affected by Jason's actions that Nicole's mother, right? And apparently, she thinks the sentence was just.

I get so sick of hearing people blame social workers. You want more effective social workers? Support them and the work they do. As it is now, this is a field that is incredibly underfunded, undervalued and underpaid. Social workers have one of the highest on the job murder, assault, rape, arson, theft rates. Higher rates of divorce and suicide than average. Skyrocketing case loads.....and you wonder why the best of the best don't generally do that job? I have a master's degree, four years of experience in child welfare, an excellent professional reputation, yet I work 50 hours a week for 40 hour compensation. Schwann's delivery driver's STARTING OUT make more money and have less hours than an experienced master's level social worker.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 6 months ago

As I recall, it was never stated by the prosecution that Jason was mentally retarded. However, he was in fact, borderline mentally retarded and SOCIALLY (in terms of social development) he was much younger than 20 years old.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

Crispian, It's an open discussion, and everyone has the right to think what they want. I am thinking it's not just, and as I recall Nancy accepts what the jury decided... I don't think anyone here is diagreeing about his mental capacity being younger than 20.... All I am saying is that he should face the consequences for his actions. 120 months max, not including the 19 he's already served, plus the option of getting 15% off if he's good is a load, and unless he changes significantly, in 6-10 years, you may see the same thing again.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

I didn't know any of the people involved.

But I know that in this society, just as soon as a suspect is named, everyone assumes guilt. Everyone talks just as if it was already a done deal.

Just as everyone here is talking as if he is truly guilty, as if they were actually there and saw what happened firsthand. If you weren't there, and didn't see it, then you don't really know. The only ones who do know for certain are Jason...and perhaps God, if you believe in God.

It's not like people aren't found guilty of crimes in this country every day, crimes that it's sometimes discovered years later that they didn't do, is it?

Yes, juries must make decisions based on the information they are given. But to me, just because a jury found him guilty doesn't convince me. From what I've read, from what I've heard on TV, I'm just not convinced.

All of the evidence was circumstantial, and a good lot of it was witnesses talking about Jason's past and his character. There was no physical evidence linking him to the fire.

I sympathize with the people who lost loved ones in this fire. But there's nothing I can say to make them feel any better. Only time will do that.

And if Nicoles' mom can be gracious enough to be comfortable with the verdict, and accept things as they are, then perhaps you should take a lesson from her, m1983.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

He actually tested just a few years younger than he is according to the defense expert. She also stated that his IQ and achievement levels match which means he does not qualify for LD - Learning Disabled. Might we also remember that this guy bought his own car and had a job at a cash register

I too am scared that unless he gets the kind of help he needs specific for fires he will at some time resort to this again. I hope that all those adults who testified in his defense and have visited him in jail several times will step up and support his mental health and help him get help since he is his own man now.

I also hope the people who minimized his issues -- fires, urinating on clothes, conduct issues -- realize that they did this kid no favors. There is a lot more in those files than was even addressed. Please now and in the future get troubled kids the help they need so things like this don't happen again.

I don't think any social worker remotely goes into the field for the money. They are trying to make a difference. They are absolutely overworked as are police, firefighters, teachers, etc.

Drop the low IQ stuff. It didn't work for the defense.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

Marquisdesade,

I mostly agree with your last post.

The jury did decide involuntary manslaughter which is defined as reckless. The difference between it and 2nd degree murder was the disregard for human life. Now don't attack me other posters. Just stating the facts.

Here come the disregard for human life blasts!!!!! And let me just say up front I agree.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

And juries who make decisions are always right, 100%, all the time?

Yes, he will have to abide by the decisions of this particular jury. But that's a different matter entirely.

I work with developmentally disabled adults. I don't suppose Jason is much different from one of the people I work with, whether he was diagnosed or not.

It might surprise you as to what the state allows DD people to do. I know several who have their own place, have a job, a car, and drive themselves.

But when it comes to taking responsibility for their own behavior, it's often a different matter entirely. Most DD people have case managers or social workers who try to get any charges against them dropped, no matter what those charges are. And most times, they're successful.

Do you know this boy personally, Bitter? And by the tone of your posts...the name certainly suits you...

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

No I do not know the guy personally. No personal attacks on here right? I am not bitter about this incident at all, it was a previous and unrelated.

I began posting because of people posting misinformation like this person said this or this expert said that which I know not to be correct.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

I didn't choose your screen name...you did. I only commented that you sound bitter. How is that a personal attack? It's an observation, nothing more.

How do you know all of this for a fact? Did you attend the trial? If so, I'll apologize now.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

you know. there are a TON of people, marquisdesade that work at fast food restraunts, because of their learning/development issues, and are in remedial classes in HS.. it's actually part of the norm today, but you don't see them burning down apartment buildings..

his day to day activities shows he is capable of functioning .. sure, he needed extra help in areas, but so do alot of other people.. his capability to do all of this, plus actually hold relationships with people shows that he's more there than ya'll are giving him credit for, and he's definitley above the mental level of a 7 year old..

what i am trying to say is, someone else who functions at this same level, with the same issues is not burning down apartments. it's not an excuse.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

Okay, so you attended the trial.

But then the only things you know about the boy are what you heard in court. If you don't know him personally, then you have no idea what kind of life he's led or what he's capable of.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

7 year olds have relationships with other people, m1983. What's your point?

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

out of the entire post, that's what you pulled.. you're missing it.. they said he was functioning just below average aka "slow".. in my opinion a 20 year old that's slow, is not on the same level as a 7 year old, he's just below average. and even if he's on the same level as a 7 year old, there's really no reason from any of that, that would excuse his behavior.. 7 year olds may catch things on fire, but they have the knowledge of right and wrong, and if they know someone might be hurt, or it's something dangerous, they act on it, where as Jason just walked across the street and watched.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

I had said the defense's child development expert did a lot of testing on Jason. She found that he was a few years delayed -- I think she said 2 or 3 years delayed. She tested and found that in November 2005 he did not qualify for LD. Yes, he had an IEP in school. She seemed to be quite the expert in this area. Not saying that the teachers were wrong just that she might have more understainding of this area and many many degrees too

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

Bitter thankyou! i was trying to explain what you just posted..

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

Probably...and you could also probably find just as many experts that would have testified to the contrary.

Experts don't always agree.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

but this was the defense expert. I think she actually did a better job ultimately for the prosecution

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

no, but i knew nicole bingham very well.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

crazyks, do you know him personally?

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

you know, it's obviously this is personal for you, I am not sure if you know him, or what.. I really think it's unfortunate he's dealt with all of that, and it's unfortunate that people closest to him betrayed him.. but, what I am saying is that there are many people with similar, and even worse circumstances who are able to function in soceity without killing people. he had every right to be mad, any one would be in that circumstance, but because of his anger, and him acting on it the way he did, 3 people are dead. there comes a point where he needs to take responsibility for his actions. and not justify them because of a crappy background. too many people come from worse situations and don't do what he did, anger, betrayel, lonliness, all of things don't justify the actions he took.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

do we know that the social worker gave him that box after he moved out? Did she not look through it with him? Ms. Powell was his social worker who testified in his defense.

The police obtained a box in their search so this is not the box that he at one time admitted to burning. That box or the box Jason said he burned was never sent by his father. UPS, postal service, DHL all confirmed no box was sent through any of them which Jason had said.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

i really don't have compassion for him in that sense.. sorry.. i really think the sentence is wrong, and i'm having a hard time with it.. i think if you were on the other side, you'd view it a little different.or maybe you wouldn't.. all i can say is how i feel, and whether it be right or wrong, it's how i feel.

nancy is amazing, what you saw on the video is what she's like on a day to day basis.. nicole did know she was loved, by alot of people, she had countless friends from all of the US and across the world, she was very loved and she loved others in return. BUT.. just because he wasn't and she was, doesn't make his crime any less in my mind. he started a fire that caused her to lose her life. i think at some point, people need to stop living as victims and start living their life,no matter what circumstance they've been through.. it seems like jason was loved by the pastor of his church, and from being associated with a church, i am guessing he knows he's loved by a higher power, but even if he doesn't, it in NO way makes killing 3 people justifiable.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

i don't think jason is sorry.. it would make things alot different on the way i view things if he was. but he's not shown that in any way, and i really don't buy that.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

can he say sorry or admit to anything now or tell what truly happened?

I guess he'd have to wait until after sentencing right?

But after that a person who has been convicted can't ...I don't know the term...double jeopardy?

Kathy Getto 7 years, 6 months ago

"people need to stop living as victims and start living their life,no matter what circumstance they've been through:.

Very well said. Using one's disfunctional background to justify hurting others is unacceptable and in some cases cowardly.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

wow, did you happen to read what i wrote, maybe you would have seen that the entire post wasn't generalizing hurting people, but talking about Jason.. it seems to me you just looked for something to argue about.. mature.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

wait.. i think i misread what you wrote? oops! my apologies if i read that wrong.

chiva 7 years, 6 months ago

It was a very hard decision, based soley on the evidence presented.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

jason isn't a victim in this situation, and from what i understand he did not try and alert people of the fire.. if i am wrong, i would love to see an article or more info. from what i understand, he's shown no emotion either way, accept for his random freak out earlier that evening before the fire even happend.

loss of life shouldn't be in the same category as loss of belongings. don't get me wrong, i feel horrible for those who lost everything, and those who were injured, or hurt by Jason, but it's really unsettling how casual you seem to make 3 deaths seem.. or how you seem to assume how these 3 people would feel.. you really need to watch what you say. unless you know them personally, don't go there.

i also don't really care about Jason's experience in the foster-care system. why? because i know people from similar backgrounds who are normal, functioning adults. it sounds to me like your saying, if you have a crappy, unfair or unfortunate upbringing, you're excused from the choices you make. yes, foster-care kids murder, but apparently middle-class college students do too.

you're not doing him any favors by victimizing him. the sooner he learns what he did and takes responsibility for it, the better.. otherwise, we'll be having this same convo. in a few years..

people are going to wound, hurt, and betray you, it happens to EVERYONE.. it doesn't excuse his actions, and it doesn't justify them. they were HIS CHOICE , he is NOT apologetic, it my opinion he doesn't even give a crap.. people who walk through situations in the foster care system don't want pitty, and i doubt they would back his actions up, they want acknowledgement for the success they've achieved despite the plate they were handed.. give them more credit. they are only victims if they choose to be, like Jason obviously has.

Kathy Getto 7 years, 6 months ago

You are welcome 1983 - I prefer rational thinking over existentialist thinking any day of the week.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

what do you think of all this chatter?

chiva 7 years, 6 months ago

I agree with some of it. I feel badly for everyone involved. Anyway you look at it, many have suffered, including Jason. Being a juror was by far one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

chiva 7 years, 6 months ago

From your comments you were at the trial, so maybe you would agree that the evidence was lacking and the tapes of his confession were very puzzling. It was difficult to find the truth intertwind in all the lies. Who knows what he actually set on fire in the beginning?

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

yes, yes, lots of lies............and probably not just from Jason........what's with all the church members!?

chiva 7 years, 6 months ago

They seemed a little too different. I've never been lied to so much! From what I understand it's not the first time that church has been in a court room, either. Also, the additional witness from the last trial didn't play much of a role in our decision.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

crazyks.. how dare you.. why don't you get off your high freaking horse. who do you think you are to tell me how to feel about this?! seriously! you are really full of crap, you're theory on all of this is just off, the truth is, no physical evidence is linked to alot of crimes, yet people still are found guilty for different reasons, it's not just an assumption, and if you're so compassionate about protecting those who've committed crimes, why don't you take that up for a living, instead of coming on this website and telling others how to feel..

i am really pissed off that you would even say that, people on here loose track of reality, and also the fact that this is a damn discussion board, it's not written in pen, and there is not one right way to think, everyone is entitled to their opinion, so get the hell off of mine.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm not telling you how to feel. You can feel however you choose. But to come here and spew hate against someone just because you want someone to blame for it isn't right.

You are only making assumptions, just as everyone else is (including me), because you weren't there at the time the fire started, and so you have no way of knowing for a fact (just as I don't), whether Jason started the fire or what his intent was if he did.

I have a right to my opinion, just as you do. And in my opinion, the prosecution did not prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt.

I have doubts, as do apparently a lot of other people. I am not thoroughly convinced that this boy actually committed the crime that he was convicted for.

And people who are innocent ARE found guilty in court sometimes. Because juries are made up of merely people, who are not infallable.

costello 7 years, 6 months ago

mds: Thanks for your eloquent posts on behalf of foster kids. To me that's what's being missed in this debate.

I adopted a teen from foster care 3 years ago. He has issues - not firesetting - but problems requiring that he get help if he is to have any hope of a happy, normal life. He's grown a lot since he's moved in with me, but he still has a long way to go.

As an adoptive parent, I'm shocked at the lack of support for people who are willing to take on these difficult children. The systems - child protection, mental health, schools - are lacking. In general people have little sympathy for the struggles of people trying to make a family for a troubled teen. They seem to think I can 'fix' my son over night. They think 'a little love' will cure him. Or they think I can beat it out of him. Or they think a few parenting tricks will change him. The school actually took it upon themselves to call his SRS worker & tell her that I was the cause of my son's problems. She finally had to come to the school & explain to them that she'd known my son since he entered foster care, & he had all of his problems long before I ever entered his life.

Last night I was talking to my son's therapist. She said I look demoralised. I feel demoralised. I feel like I've taken on a challenge that few others would attempt. Of those who would take on this challenge, most would have given up long ago.

continued ...

costello 7 years, 6 months ago

continued ...

Jason Rose needed a family to raise him. He needed a strong, resourceful family which would have stayed with him & loved him through hell & high water. He needed a family tough enough to persist in the face of friends, family, & strangers telling them they should give up, they don't know what they're doing, they probably caused his problems, etc. Unfortunately such families are few & far between.

When I spoke with my son's therapist last night, I mentioned this line of posts. I don't understand the lack of compassion for kids like Jason. As you said in your post, there are other Jasons in the system now. Most will never do anything like what he did, but the stats show that kids who age out of the system are far more likely to end up unemployed, homeless, in jail, etc. than other kids. Instead of this story galvanizing us to help these kids, & the families adopting them, we call him names and accuse him of using his deficits and bad history as an 'excuse'. The therapist explained people who've had relatively easy lives have a hard time seeing the world through the eyes of people who have had a severely disfunctional life. They assume that if they themselves could handle particular challenges, then Jason Rose should be able to also.

This whole story makes me so sad. I feel really tired, and it seems to me that people are missing the point. If we can't look at this problem honestly and see how we as a society are culpable in Jason Rose's story, then we'll never be able to make the corrective actions needed to help the other kids in the system.

I come from a nice comfortable middle class background. The last few years as the adoptive parent of a system kid have been an education for me. And one of the things I've learned is that most people just don't care about foster children.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

I am done with this, I didn't come to debate the foster care system, and because I don't agree with what you're saying, I spew hate? I don't think so. It's unfortunate you've decided to twist this around. I am not looking for someone to blame, I am talking about the article listed above, maybe you should re-read it? As a close friend of someone effected by this, I feel strongly.. I respect the opinions here, and really wish you would do the same. Just because I don't agree with you, doesn't mean you can personally attack me, or anyone else here. It's amazing from what I have written you've decided I have had a "relativly easy life" and that " I don't have compassion for kids in foster care". "That I have assumed if I could handle the things Jason faced, he should be able to as well" All of these things are so wrong, and out of left field, so twisted, and bias. I haven't said any of it, and for you to assume you know me, and what I feel on the general topics, and that I have had an "easy life" is incredible. You really loose all credibility in my opinion when you make it that personal, and attack people. Don't twist my posts for your agenda, if you actually read what I have wrote, my issues is with JASON, not foster kids, or anyone else. So do me a favor and keep it there.

I am done with this, it really doesn't do any good to argue with people who are so glued to the news and this website that they've forgotten reality. I really can't believe you feel you can come on here and tell people their core beliefs and twist things like you have.

Maybe when he gets out in a few years, something will happen where you're effected, let me know what you think about it then.

Thanks

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

"Your unresolved grief issues are hindering you from moving in the solution"

You're so right. I am so glad to be a part of an online forum where people are able to diagnose your issues and deepest concerns, and let you know how to handle them.

You both are 100% right, I am wrong, I offer no possitive, no solution, have no right to express my disapointment in the legal system and Jason Rose, and how dare I not give sympathy or pity to his upbringing. I don't sympathize with any kids in foster care, because of my issue with Jason, I have generalized all kids the same situation. My life has been perfect, no issues, or problems at all, I spew hate to everyone I talk to, I am in a pity pot, and don't choose to honor the people lost (even though I knew them well). I have no right to feel grief, remorse, or anger, and where do I get off posting an opinion on an open website editiorial.. I should just shut up if I disagree with the legal system, or anyone posting on this website. Forgive me, I am so so wrong to not go along with the debate brought up by personal opinions and experiences with foster care.

costello 7 years, 6 months ago

m1983: I never said you 'spew hate.' Maybe someone else did. It wasn't in my posts. I really try to understand others' points of view. From what I've read of your posts, you've lost a friend and you're hurting. I'm sorry for your loss.

I was responding to some posts by marquisdesade. It seemed to me that what he or she said reflected an understanding of what Jason Rose's life was like in foster care. It certainly describes what my son's life was like in foster care.

This story about Jason Rose has depressed me profoundly. If we could rewind the calendar 10 years, we could find him a family and there might be hope for a better outcome. If we could rewind it 19 years, he'd be a 3 year old being removed from his family in order to protect him. He was the victim then. As marquisdesade said, there are kids entering the system constantly. There are kids waiting for families in the system right now. There are kids aging out of the system right now. We can do better for them.

I'm honestly not asking you to forgive or understand Jason Rose. I'm fairly sure I couldn't forgive him if I were in your shoes. But a lot of people who weren't so closely touched by this event have posted here and called him a monster, a psycho, and evil. I don't know the man. Maybe he is all those things. Maybe he's just an evil psycho monster. Maybe from the day he was born he was doomed to burn a building down and kill people. Or maybe he could have been deflected from that course if he'd got help earlier. And I firmly believe that the best help Jason could have got was a family and some chance at a normal life. Therapy is important, but the best therapists in the world would have a hard time helping a child with no long-term, significant attachments to caring adults.

continued ...

costello 7 years, 6 months ago

continuing ...

I'm sorry if you think I have an agenda. Probably I do. I've lived this problem for the last couple of years. It's touched me deeply. As I said, I'm depressed - not just for Jason and his victims, but for my son and other foster kids too. I want badly to help kids who are floundering in the foster care system. I feel helpless to do anything. The only thing I have to offer is the story of what my son and I have had to deal with. Hopefully someone will hear it and care enough to think about it and maybe learn something. But as I said in my earlier post, I've become convinced that most people don't care about foster children.

I don't know you or anything about your life. Maybe it's been really, really hard. But as marquisdesade tried to explain, some kids living in the system don't have a single adult who's been there for them consistently for years and years. My guess is that you had that, you had a parent to care for you. I really don't believe that most people understand what it's like to grow up without a consistent adult in one's life. It's absolutely essential for normal child development. Parents aren't just a nice idea, they're a necessity. Not having a parent (or parent substitute) effects how the child turns out. Some people will hear in that statement an excuse for Jason Rose. It isn't meant to be. It's meant to be an appeal for other kids.

I'm really sorry if you think I was attacking you. My condolences for your loss.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

Costello, I was referring to Crazyks, but thankyou for your post, and clarifying. I think I mixed the 2 posts, so I apologize for that. I really do respect where you're coming from and really agree with what you're saying. I agree that the amount of kids who are entering the system and growing up neglected is astounding and sad and also agree that Jason having a mentor, family that supported and cared could have changed this. Parents and support are vital, and when you don't have that, you aren't given the tools to function in alot of emotional situations, it's psychologically proven. Seperating the 2, I completely agree with you, and your goals with the fostercare system and your personal involvement is admirable. I apologize that I haven't expressed that in these posts, I really have viewed this as a "Jason" thing only. My opinions really aren't that of other kids in that situation, except when it comes to being held accountable to their actions in this kind of a situation. However, I appreciate your view, and see where you're coming from.I do know I have looked at this based completely on emotion & probably would have had a diffferent view had I not known someone effected. In a perfect world, I would have moved on, could see him the way you do, with grace, and as someone whose been hurt, failed and neglected, but I am not there yet, I hope to be.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

I was the one who said you were spewing hate. I do honestly believe it's because you are hurting and want someone to blame.

You admitted that you did not know Jason, and have no idea of what his life was like prior to this event, save what you have read in the papers or seen at the trial. So how do you know what kind of person he is?

Yes, he was found guilty and will have to take the consequences accordingly. But I have been trying to point out that just because he was found guilty by the jury doesn't necessarily mean that he really IS guilty. Innocent people have been found guilty by juries before. If you don't know Jason, why are you so convinced that he's guilty?

It is possible that one of the reasons that he was focused on by the police and the prosecution was simply because they knew he was a kid that had been in foster care. They are all too familiar with what many kids in foster care are like. They certainly should have known that, because of his experiences, he was going to be at a different level of social development than the average person, if nothing else.

I have seen what the foster care system does to kids, and from both the parents and the kid's point of view. I have known families who were ripped apart because of someone's accusations, even when the accusations turned out to be false...but the damage was already done.

Some children need to be taken away from their parents. But some have been taken away when it was absolutely not neccesary. And sometimes, the very system that was supposed to be helping them is the thing that turned them into criminals.

And some kids who have been in foster care, especially for years, feel just as helpless as you are feeling right now.

I am sorry for the loss of your friend. I can't begin to imagine what it's like, as I've never had anything like that happen to anyone I know.

I'm not being sarcastic or mean when I suggest that maybe you should look at support groups or counseling to help you deal with your grief.

costello 7 years, 6 months ago

m1983: I'm 45 years old, and I've never lost anyone I loved to violence - or even a preventable accident. I can't imagine the pain you're dealing with. I know myself well enough to know that I'd have a really hard time forgiving the person who caused the death of my loved one. Probably I'd never forgive them. A saint, I'm not!

Take care of yourself.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

I really don't want your suggestions, and I am not spewing hate, or looking for someone to blame, I suggest you stop labeling me, and psycho-analyzing my behavior.It's not productive, and makes everything else you "suggest" or talk about crap in my opinion. It's honestly insulting, and degrading to read what you've suggested to me, and because of that I am getting pissed off. If I am spewing any hate it's towards you and you're arrogance, and also ignorance on how people react to losing loved ones.

Take some hints from the more productive posters, and don't tell me how to handle my "grief'" You are extreemly arrogant, and it's unbelievable you have the audacity to say what you have. I am not looking for someone to blame, Jason already was, I am expressing my opinion on the trial, if you don't like what I have to say, ignore it, but cut the crap, and quit acting like you know me personally. I don't claim to know Jason, I don't claim to know his life, I have said that, and said the information I have received has been from the news and the family. I don't like Jason, I don't like what he's done, and you're constant banter and psychological advice isn't going to change it. Why don't you take a look at my response to costello, maybe that will clarify some of your misconceptions on me and if it doesn't, keep it to yourself.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

If you choose to ignore advice simply because I angered you, there's nothing I can do about it.

I found therapy to be extremely useful when I lost my mother.

No, I don't know you personally...but I know anger and grief. I've gone through them myself. And they can eat you alive if you let them.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

And I didn't intend to make you angry. I'm sorry.

I just don't believe that Jason is guilty. The evidence didn't convince me.

That is really the only thing we disagree on.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 6 months ago

"marquisdesade (Anonymous) says:

You knew what the pay scale was going in. Social work is not about compensation rather doing the best you can in EVERY case. I get so tired of hearing Social Workers talk about money after they have failed to serve their Clients. If you support the Worker (s) in this case than you may need to take a long hard look at your own motives as to what you are adding to the field. I to admire the Mother in this case. She is a model to all on compassion and grieveing."

That was not the point. The point is that compensation, appropriate program funding and lower case loads will produce better social worker. And, yes, as I said as well, perhaps all those who are so vidictive here and were not personally affected by this tragedy, look at the mother who was as a model. Your sentiment there is the same as what I said. I just don't see the point of blame. Blame a social worker who may or may not have accurate records, access to ALL the pertinent information on this kid, provided this child with photos from his past etc....Blame the judge. Blame the DA. People are unpredictable. That is why we are people, not robots.

M1986 or whatever, I did not say this was not an open discussion, so not sure where you got that.

Also, You really don't know what the SW did or did not do. That is also my point. I will say this--I have an excellent reputation in my field, have facilitated GOOD foster home placements, licensed GOOD foster home and made a difference in the people I work with's eyes. So, to say that I am potentially a poor social worker because I support not placing blame on a person who works in an undervalued field, is really fallacious. I have not screwed up with my clients and I know many, many social workers like myself who will still lobby for this profession, to which our most valued and vulnerable resources, children, are entrusted. No one seems to argue that in districts where schools are funded, teachers are compensated well for the work that they do and people value the work educational standards seem to be a little better.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 6 months ago

m1983 (Anonymous) says:

no, but i knew nicole bingham very well.

And Yolanda Riddle was a friend of mine (remember, she was one of us terrible, unfit social workers-sarcasm). That does not make me qualified to judge what or when or who or why in regards to this criminal case. I feel for you. And this also lets me know why your feelings seem virulent. Sorry for the loss.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 6 months ago

Marquisdesade, you asking if Yolanda would want this system changed was my point exactly that you lambasted. This system cannot get any better or attract better professionals without value, both socially and financially, being placed in the field of social work. How can you get on a soap box about changing the system, yet disagree that more value needs to be placed in the field?
Did you know that KU's school of social welfare requires a 2.5 gpa for grad school while most other grad schools require a lower standard. Let's continue to raise our standards, increase the value placed on the populations that are served by social workers and the value of those that work, day in and day out, with the populations.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

crispian, where did you find me saying anything about social workers?

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

Be nice people! Respect others opinions. My problem is people claiming evidence wasn't enough to convict him. Apparently it was. To 12 -- twelve adults. There must have been enough. There must have been enough detail and testimony as to who and what Jason was like.

Can you get twelve friends in a room to agree on most things? Heck, we can't get 12 people here to agree on much!

If the prosecution is mad then it's their own fault. The last minute witness did not confirm anything.

I was at the trial. Seemed very odd that he would pin point yes, pin point where he started a fire --truth or a lie -- but pinpoint that exact spot on a building longer than a football field.

After hearing everything first hand, I think he set a fire. I don't think he set out purposely to kill people. Not sure what or why but ...........I could see manslaughter for sure.

Leandra Galindo 7 years, 6 months ago

I can't believe he got away with this...to me he's 100% responsible. Yolanda did not deserve to die, nor did the other two individuals. Our justice system is just as responsible. I thought the system is supposed to protect us....it seems to me the system is protecting this man who got away with murder.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 6 months ago

M1983, I was mainly addressing that part specifically to Marquis DS. Sorry. However, you and many others stated that the social worker or foster system may have dropped the ball as if that is a nearly accepted fact. I am simply of a mind that that does nothing to increase good professionals' desire to enter this field.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

Social workers should definitely be paid more. Their jobs are necessary and valuable, and we need to value what they do better than we currently do.

Because of numerous budget cuts, often a social worker's hands are tied. Some programs may have long waiting lists...some have been eliminated altogether. This is not the fault of the social worker.

I find the same problems in my job, working with DD people.

However, that being said, there are some very bad social workers out there, Crispian. There are bad workers in any field, unfortunately.

I am rather bitter about this, because my sister's children were taken away from her, and in my opinion it was totally unnecessary, and caused harm to these children (now adults) that should never have happened.

My ex brother-in-law had been convicted of two counts of indecent liberties with a child. When he got out of prison, the state, and the social workers, insisted that my sister send their four children to him on visitation. She requested supervised visitation, because of his conviction. This was denied. He was abusive, and the state knew this, but for some reason they considered his new wife to be enough supervision.

Ater awhile, it was clear that the kids didn't want to go, didn't want to be around their father. My sister balked at sending them. She knew something wasn't right. Yet his home was investigated and the social worker said it was okay. My sister was told that if she didn't send the kids for visitation anyway, even against the wishes of the kids, that she would be found in contempt of court and possibly put in prison herself.

So she sent them. And then the kids told everything, and he was convicted of sexually molesting two of his own children, and sent to prison again. His parental rights were then severed.

Unfortunately, so were my sister's. One of the major reasons the social workers pointed out in court that she was an unfit mother was because she failed to protect her children against a known sex offender.

Huh? Would you like to explain this one to me? Would you like to explain to me how a social worker could ever possibly be okay with making children go to visit a man who had already been convicted of sex crimes against children? And how making my sister send them was her fault, instead of the state's?

You might be glad to know that three of the four children are now over 18, and the first thing they did as soon as they were allowed to was contact their mother. They all have a relationship with her again, and they are all angry at the state for pulling them apart to begin with.

Social workers aren't always right.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

Crispian, I can see where you're coming from with that, and the overall field is not a representation of one person dropping the ball (if they did) I don't know enough on that, and probably shouldn't have assumed that's what they did. I honestly think that's an admirable field, and that MOST people who get involved really have an interest in helping people. It's an under-appreciate profession, and the pay is not that great, but the contact they have with people, and the impact they have the opportunity to make is profound, and you really can't get that in other professions, even psychology. They are on the front-line.

m1983 7 years, 6 months ago

"once someone goes to prison they do have a higher rate of reoffense. I was told when they are young going it is even more likely."

I agree, and honestly 122 months in my opinion would be better served in a treatment/detention type center that will offer some sort of treatment for this.. jail won't, and really people just get out of jail, even more bitter and angry than when they started, and alot of times committ the same crime or worse. I am not negating what I said earlier, I think the sentence is lame, and not long enough. However, I don't think the time in a regular state prison is going to be productive. I volunteer with inner- city kids, and have worked with Big Brother/ Big Sister in the past, those organizations are great, and there are alot of them out there, any involvement, writing letters is somethin.. I know the foster-care system seems daunting, and it's unfortunate there are people who work in it, that probably don't have the childs best interest at heart. Despite me having big issues with Jason, I do see where you're coming from. It's scary to think he could do it again, and the truth is, if he doesn't get propper help, that's actually trained, and works with cases like him, there's a good chance he could. I guess what I am saying is despite my personal opinion on him, I see where you're coming from with the foster-care system.

Bitter 7 years, 6 months ago

And one of my points was not that one person minimized Jason's issues but several along the way. I truly think they had his best interests in mind and were trying to get him placed. I think all of his issues weren't dealt with and ended up in a heap of ashes formerly called Boardwalk Apartments.

I think the adults who testified in his defense were doing more of the same. Minimizing.

I stated before.....if these adults truly care for him, I hope they help him get the needed help.

BTW, people who do know him personally were all over these boards before now seem to have vanished. At least in posts.

Also, thank you for being nicer!!

Baille 7 years, 6 months ago

"I stated before:..if these adults truly care for him, I hope they help him get the needed help."

In state prison? That is NOT going to happen. You think this kid is messed up now wait until he comes out of our "correctional" system.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

As far as I know, people who go to mental hospitals receive psychiatric help. People who go to prison do not. I don't think they're required to provide it.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 6 months ago

nativeokiegirl27 (and others), the justice system isn't failing here. If you believe the punishment does not fit the crime of which this man was convicted, the ones to blame are the legislators who set the sentencing guidelines. The judge has very, very little discretion in this because the Kansas Legislature created standards for sentencing specifically to limit judicial discretion.

And we have fallen into the trap of blaming the judges whose hands have been tied by Statute instead of holding the legislators accountable. Shame on us.

costello 7 years, 6 months ago

Hi Crispian:

You said: "[Y]ou and many others stated that the social worker or foster system may have dropped the ball as if that is a nearly accepted fact."

I hope you don't consider me one of those who made this statement. I do think we've failed Jason Rose and other kids, but I can't really say I think individual workers or the foster system itself is at fault. I see the problem with the larger society. Individuals in the system I'm sure make a tremendous difference for individual kids, but my son - who was surrounded by caring workers and foster parents, btw (unfortunately, due to his behaviors he had a SERIES of good foster homes) - wasn't headed in a good direction in the system.

The foster system doesn't work in a vacuum. My son has to attend school, and in my experience the schools are clueless about the needs of kids like my son. I've spent 2 years fighting his school in order to get the services he's entitled to by law. One of his previous foster homes moved him on because the school he was in made their lives hell. I believe - no proof - that schools have learned that if they can cause enough problems for the foster parents of ED kids, they can get those parents to give notice and the kid is often moved out of the district. I've spoken to two other people who have had foster children in my son's school. Those foster kids had exactly the same diagnosis as my son. And the school played exactly the same games with those kids as they did with mine.

Kids like mine also often find themselves in the juvenile justice system. My boy was recently adjudicated a juvenile offender over an incident at school which, I believe, would have been handled differently if he weren't a special ed student. Earlier in the school year another child physically attacked my son twice in class, throwing him out of his seat. That child wasn't prosecuted (nor do I think he should have been - these kinds of incidents can be handled in the school w/o recourse to the juvenile justice system). My son punched another kid in reaction to the other child hitting him first. My son was prosecuted - against the wishes of the other family, btw - the school pushed to have him prosecuted. So far I'm not impressed that the juvenile justice system has any clue about kids with backgrounds like my son.

To point the finger at the foster system or individual workers within it seems to miss the point, in my opinion.

You also said: "I am simply of a mind that that does nothing to increase good professionals' desire to enter this field."

True. I know I'd never enter that field. I have no desire to be overworked and mistreated for $23,000 per year or whatever it is that case workers are paid. As my son's therapist said, prisoner guards get paid more. It just depends where we're going to put our money.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 6 months ago

Thank you guys. It seems we are all actually on the same page here. I now see your point was not directed at social workers per se, but at this system. I agree this system has many flaws that should and could be resolved from both a macro and micro perspective. There certainly are bad social workers out there and I am so sorry that some of you have had that experience. I was in foster care at 15 and RARELY saw a social worker. The one I did see did nothing to help me. That is why I decided to enter the field and NOT be that social worker. Thanks for the kind words about the field.

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