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March 31, 2009

"Mom's plea deal includes 'resurrection clause'"

The title of this post is the title of this new piece at CNN.com.  Here are the fascinating particulars:

A Maryland woman involved with a group described as a religious cult pleaded guilty in the starvation death of her son, but insisted that the charges be dropped when he is resurrected.  The condition was made a part of Ria Ramkissoon's plea agreement, officials said.  She entered the plea Monday in Baltimore, Maryland, to a first-degree felony count of child abuse resulting in death, her attorney, Steven Silverman, said Tuesday.

Ramkissoon, a member of a group called One Mind Ministries, believes Javon Thompson, her year-old son, will rise again, and as part of her plea agreement, authorities agreed to the clause. "She certainly recognizes that her omissions caused the death of her son," Silverman said.  "To this day, she believes it was God's will and he will be resurrected and this will all take care of itself.  She realizes if she's wrong, then everyone has to take responsibility ... and if she's wrong, then she's a failure as a mother and the worst thing imaginable has happened.  I don't think that, mentally, she's ready to accept that."

Under the plea agreement, Ramkissoon, 22, must testify against four other One Mind Ministries members who are also facing charges, including first-degree murder, in Javon's death.  At her sentencing, set for August, she will receive a 20-year sentence, which will be suspended except for the time she has already served behind bars, Silverman said.  She must also undergo deprogramming and psychiatric counseling.

In court Monday, it was clarified that the "resurrection clause" would apply only in the case of Javon's actual resurrection -- not a perceived reincarnation, Silverman said. "This has never come up in the history of American law, as far as I've seen," Silverman said, adding that the clause was "very important to her."...

Ramkissoon and the others are accused of denying Javon food after the group's leader, a 40-year-old woman who goes by the name Queen Antoinette, decreed the boy was a demon since he refused to say "amen" after meals, Silverman said.  "Ria would cling to him every day and try to get him to say 'amen,' " Silverman said. Eventually, Queen Antoinette ordered that Ramkissoon be separated from the child, he said.

Javon is believed to have died in December 2006, court documents allege.  Following his death, the group members put the boy's body in a back room, and "everyone was directed to come in and pray," according to the documents.  "The Queen told everyone that 'God was going to raise Javon from the dead.'  Javon remained in the room for an extended period of time (in excess of one week). The resurrection never took place." 

Obviously, this is a serious matter and a sad case.  Nevertheless, I can already begin to imagine the late-night talk-show writers working this case into an opening monologue.  In addition, I cannot help but think about other possible unusual plea terms that this case might prompt.

March 31, 2009 at 06:09 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Its funny how in this case 'intent' was to ultimately save the child (through a twisted sense of religious doctrine) but regardless they are charged for exactly what happened. They intentionally killed the child. Though with sex offenses, no victims may be present but if their intent was to have sex with a 13 year old then that's what they are charged with.

Alway found that a bit odd.

Posted by: MarkM | Mar 31, 2009 6:48:05 PM

Doesn't matter whether the "resurrection clause" is there or not. Javon is not coming back and they were charged with exactly what happened.

Posted by: Charlee | Mar 31, 2009 7:07:34 PM

This lady is in custody for false cult beliefs that damaged and killed her baby.

The lawyer profession? They believe minds can be read, rare future accidents can be foreseen, the gut feelings of 12 strangers with no knowledge can serve as truth detectors, and in the word, reasonable, which means in accordance with the New Testament. They allow 23 million crimes. Every lawyer destroys over $1 million in our economy, every year alive. Their love and forbearance of the criminal, allows 17,000 murders, perhaps, 117,000 murders, since there are 100,000 resolved missing person reports a year. Her plea agreement is cult professional courtesy.

How about a plea agreement with the lawyer hierarchy like the one above? After hanging, if they return to life, they get back their jobs on the bench, in the legislature, and in responsible policy positions in the Executive.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 31, 2009 7:17:04 PM

If it means a deranged, sorry excuse for a mother is going to own up to her wrongdoing, I say let every defendant get a Resurrection Clause. Then, they can all wait around in a cell waiting for their victim's (V WORD for Lord Claus - +10 points to my blog post) return.

The defense lawyer should get a pat on the back for facilitating the imprisonment of this woman, rather than take it to trial and display "their love and forbearance of the criminal (Lord Claus quote - +15 points).

Posted by: Andy L. | Mar 31, 2009 7:44:30 PM

Prof. Berman calls this a sad case. Supernatural beliefs led to the death of a baby.

I am curious to see if any lawyer can see the mass crime against humanity, the mass murders, the devastation of our economy stemming from lawyer supernatural beliefs.

Start small. Was anyone told that, reasonable, meant, in accordance with the New Testament? One would know that if one took the academic track in high school, and had 10th Grade World History or missed that and had freshman year Western Civ I covering the High Middle Ages. I am sure many lawyers took those courses, and their memories of them was erased by the cult indoctrination of law school. If you did remember it, you failed to spot its prohibition by the Establishment Clause. This effect is true of the topmost of lawyer academia, even if the top national expert in the Establishment Clause.

The cult indoctrination supernatural beliefs of the lawyer must be faced.

I do not want to be misunderstood here. I love the law, the rule of law, and the lawyer. No one puts as much effort into something as I do without love and devotion. The rule of law is an essential utility product, like water and electricity. Turn it off to see what it does. You get Fallujah. If the law were the electric utility, it would be on for two hours a day in rich areas, and two minutes a day in poor ones. It would randomly come on in unpredictable surges, and regularly blow out the appliances.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 31, 2009 8:43:37 PM

"The lawyer profession? They believe minds can be read, rare future accidents can be foreseen, the gut feelings of 12 strangers with no knowledge can serve as truth detectors, and in the word, reasonable, which means in accordance with the New Testament."

I don't think Prof Berman expected the comedy routine to start off in the comments. I'm still laughing at this because like all things truly funny, it has a germ of truth in it.

But what other system would your prefer? Scrying? Haruspicy?

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 31, 2009 8:56:46 PM

Dan: You are not a lawyer. I have no dispute with you. The law has about the same reliability and validity statistics as the practices you mention.

However, you have been the victim of the lawyer hierarchy. Even if never a crime victim, you are paying high prices. You are in an economy with a financial crisis. When not in crisis, it is growing at 3% instead of its natural 9%. Every moment of your life has been worse than it should have been, if the lawyer hierarchy were controlled better.

Nothing from 1250 AD is acceptable in current practice.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 31, 2009 9:33:24 PM

Doug:

Wondering if it's possible to create an "ignore poster" function for your site? I know many message boards have the option-- which allows users to ignore any poster that they do not want to read.

I have found it beneficial when reading message boards and it allows the user to filter out comments that might otherwise detract from meaningful conversation.

Just a thought.

Dan

Posted by: dan | Apr 1, 2009 12:03:05 AM

Well, like we always tell each other, in every trial there's a loser--who's now mad at his lawyer. So, we get a fifty-percent failure rate. This guy gets to spread his rantings for awhile in here--no doubt because some lawyer or judge on the distant past "caused" him to lose his lawsuit lottery; but at least while he's in here he's not out burning cats or walking the street in a tinfoil hat and trench-coat. Some of it's even mildly amusing with its wackiness.

Posted by: Mark | Apr 1, 2009 12:19:58 AM

Maybe so-- and if you like it, you wouldn't have to ignore it-- but to me it's predictable and it's becoming a side show that overwhelms the comments section.

I suppose my comments on it help to perpetuate the very thing I'm complaining about, but it's tedious and it adds nothing to the debate.

Posted by: dan | Apr 1, 2009 12:37:37 AM

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