New Zealand jury acquits man who admitted to killing brain-damaged baby daughter

.- A jury in the Nelson Court of Richmond New Zealand has given a not guilty verdict to a man who admitted to killing his brain-damaged baby daughter by smothering her to death, saying that he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Family Life International, New Zealand has released a statement saying that the jury’s verdict “negates the value of the dead girl’s life and her right to live.”

Saying that “compassion and understanding must be extended to the man involved and his family,” the press release states that “the baby girl involved has had her life taken from her yet it seems that her life was not important enough to warrant a guilty conviction for the minimum sentence of her manslaughter.”

To suggest that this “unlawful act of smothering…is not an act of manslaughter is a travesty of justice,” continued the statement.

“If the child had not been diagnosed with brain damage then it is hard to believe that her father would have been found not guilty of her death.”

Referring to the notion that the ending the baby’s life is acceptable because she would have had a very low ‘quality of life,’ Family Life stated that “although doctors can diagnose illness they cannot do anything other then predict possible outcomes or quality of life for the patient involved.”

“To allow someone to end the life of a child based on these possible outcomes or what someone else deems to be their quality of life is unjust and inhumane.” The baby girl’s right to live “was taken from her by her father.”

In conclusion Family Life stated that “the Nelson verdict proclaims to society that her life was not as important as the life of a child without disability,” and warned that  “it has set a dangerous precedent that will jeopardise the lives of many disabled and special needs children in this country.”

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