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teach1st Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 04:13 AM
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They were willing to sacrifice her

By Dan Moffett, Palm Beach Post
Sunday, July 25, 2004

Nothing about the bewildered Akateco Indian girl suggested that she was capable of putting the judicial system on trial.

Were it not for the orange jail coveralls, she might have walked into the Palm Beach County courtroom unnoticed in October 2002. She was barely 4-foot-10 and, in a chirping voice, spoke a language that no one had heard. She didn't know her age. Maybe she was 13, maybe 14. For weeks, she was misidentified as her sister.

What was known for sure about Petrona Toms was that she had delivered a baby in a Lake Worth apartment, and police had found the tiny, premature newborn dead, with a wad of toilet paper in its throat.

That was all prosecutors wanted to know. They charged her as an adult with first-degree murder and quickly got a grand-jury indictment. She was an illiterate illegal immigrant who was baffled even by the courthouse escalators. She was brown and female in an arena of white men. Her father had sold her when she was 11. She was a disposable child in Guatemala, and the system was intent on disposing of her here. It figured to be over fast.

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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 04:32 AM
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1. "F" is not only for "Florida" it is for "Fascist" as well
I'd like to see the prosecutors and investigating officers strung up by their thumbs.
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 05:24 AM
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2. In the real old days women could not have preemies.
It was a sin to say marry and have a child 7 months later. You had had to have sinned. Since only being a member of the church could let you be a town select men and judge you can see how things worked. That popped into my head when I read that. I know it is not the same but--------
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