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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:22 PM

Judge tears up as Oakland mother is sent to prison for killing 2-year-old daughter

Source: Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND -- A 22-year-old Oakland mother who killed her 2-year-old daughter was sent to prison for at least 15 years Tuesday during an emotional hearing that even caused the judge to break down in tears.

"It's not even pain; it's not even hurt. It's misery," said Joseph Russell Jr., the father of Kamilah Russell. "This is the worst moment a father has to face in his life; this little girl was my beginning of fatherhood."

Paramedics found Kamilah not breathing in her home on High Street on March 9, 2010 after Tiffany Lopez called 911, reporting that her daughter had stopped breathing. The baby was taken to Children's Hospital Oakland where she was later pronounced dead due to asphyxiation.

Lopez initially told police and Russell that the child's death was an accident caused when she sat on her during a game of hide-and-seek. Lopez said that her daughter had hid under a couch cushion and that she sat on Kamilah not realizing that the girl was hiding under the cushion.

Read more: http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_22427911/judges-tears-up-oakland-mother-is-sent-prison?source=rss

Sad, sick, disgusting, despicable, you name it. I have many other words for this idiot of a murderer but I'll leave it at that for now. As for poor little Kamilah Russell, may she RIP, far far away from this "mother".

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Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:37 PM

1. she should serve the rest of her life in prison

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Response to dsc (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:49 PM

2. And have her tubes tied.


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Response to dsc (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:02 PM

4. So what should we do with the society which raised...


...her with just the barest, badly overly romanticised ideas of what parenthood really means, and almost zero practical skills towards doing it right?

Bad enough are the kneejerk (with emphasis where emphasis is due) sugestions of punative neutering, deep holes and lost keys, the self satisfied "We all know what they do to babykillers in jail.".

However, the true evil is in the whispers:[ul][li]She was always a bit strange.
[li]What makes a woman kill her own baby?
[li]Kid was always grubby, whiny, hungry. (With clear implications mum wasn't doing a very good job.)
[li]People like her shouldn't have babies.
[li]See what happens when the government just pays them to pop out sprogs like a Pez dispenser.
[li]Unmarried mother. Promiscuous. Ungodly. Slut.
[li]They breed like rabbits anyway. (Now we're devaluing the victim.)
[li]Look at how dead her eyes are. Evil Bitch.[/ul]

It's the unvoiced thoughts, or the ones voiced only where they're welcomed, that make it inevitable that her story be told over and over again.

She isn't truly evil. I think what makes us want to hurt this "murderous mother" so badly is that on some level, we all realise that she did nothing that we aren't ALL CAPABLE OF, and very few of us haven't done on one occasion or another. Giving into a moment of blind frustrated rage.

We want to punish her terribly, as a reminder/disincentive to ourselves not to do the same thing, because we really do know it would be so easy for us to do it.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 05:27 AM

5. Although I disagree with those advocating things like


sterilization, this woman clearly needs to spend a long time in prison.

Personally, I rarely- and I do mean rarely- indulge in the use of the word "evil". It's simply not germane to a case like this.

And maybe YOU think it would be "so easy" for most people to kill a small child, but I certainly disagree with you there. Most mothers never come close to doing that.

As a mother, I never had a single moment of frustrated rage that would have led me to laying a finger on a child. Never.

And blaming society, without knowing jackshit about this particular case, is just ignorant.

YOUR kneejerk dogshit defense of this woman is sick.

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Response to cali (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:25 PM

7. Really? It's people like you, utterly sure of themselves...


...and how they'd never behave "that way", who make the biggest fucking messes on the rare occasions that they DO go off the deep end.

EXACTLY how do you get from "Giving into a moment of blind frustrated rage." to claiming I'm saying it would be "so easy" for most people to kill a small child.

AND YOU'RE WRONG ANYWAY. In a fit of blind rage, is exactly when ordinary people do the most extraordinarily, inexplicably, heinously out of character things. Fortunately, most of the time, they catch themselves in time, or deliberately channel their rage into a "least destructive" path; they pull their punch at the last moment or aim to miss.

Rarely too, are children the targets of such rage. Spouses, co-workers, other road users, persons more capable of adsorbing that first fateful blow. The one that ninety-nine times out of a hundred is just that cowardly rabbit punch from behind, but just once, every now and then, is a head cracked like an egg on the pavement or kerb.

We want to punish her, because we don't want to punish ourselves for all the times "we got away with it".

AND JUST WHAT FUCKING "DOGSHIT DEFENSE" DID I ACTUALLY OFFER FOR THIS WOMAN? POINT OUT TO ME EXACTLY WHERE I SAID SHE SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED FOR WHAT SHE DID? Or that she was too harshly punished? Or even where I expressed any fucking opinion whatsoever* on either the punishment she received, or what punishment I believe should be due her?

Call me dogshit? I name you "Whisperer", when you take a person's words and deliberately twist them through 180 degrees to suit your agenda.

I blame society, because I bloody well KNOW women just like "this woman": blobby fat and a bit slow; bullied at school; Not very pretty, but "knows how to make up for her face"; passed around as a club "fuck toy" and sickeningly grateful for the attention; pregnant at fifteen and already working on their third child before they leave their teens; bounces from one abusive partner to the next like a ball in a bagatelle machine; and will even pimp her own child for a few hours of pain free oblivion.

Are any of these circumstance beyond the unfortunatly true first this woman's? I have no bloody idea, and it doesn't matter one flaming whit's worth. She was and is, one of the dregs and writeoffs of society. But she couldn't even get that right. She went a step too far and now has to be punished, whereas before the act, a little bit of real familial or societal support would have caused it to never have happened at all.

* For the record. I believe the judge, prosecution and defence, all working together, got it exactly right. Fifteen years with a likely release in ten.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 01:30 PM

8. Hey, I have gone "off the deep end" and I still wasn't even a tiny bit of a threat to anyone


so yeah, I pretty much know what I'm capable of.

I most certainly did not call you dogshit, genius. but you know that.

A step too far? Uh no. Murdering a defenseless child is a bit more than going a "step too far".

And how do you know that "a little bit of real familial or societal support would have caused it to never have happened at all"?

You don't.

Blaming society is a nice simple minded little bromide, but like all simple minded little bromides, it fails to take into account complexity.

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Response to cali (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:58 PM

9. And now you're arguing like a climate denier...


...telling me if I can't make a specific case, I have no business attempting the general.

You might as well have called me dogshit, given that again and again you've gone the person and been utterly dismissive of any argument.

Yes, just one lousy, irrational, irredeemable, can never be undone, "step to far" that forced us to pay attention once it was far too late. How much attention do we collectively pay to the child abuse and neglect constantly going around us BEFORE it escalates to a horrific titilating, six o'clock news sound bite?

How many people of even average intelligence truely understand how reliant children (particularly distressed YOUNG children) are on mouth breathing? Just how easy it is to unwittingly drown them in their own snot. It's something ALL of us SHOULD know, (which is why this is murder and not manslaughter) but sadly far too few of us do.

It does not excuse what she did in the least particular. It does explain how a person might fail to recognise the significant danger inherrent in such a seemingly trivial act when coupled with a total loss of self control.

We (you?) forgive and even excuse a woman who acts in the grip of post partum psychosis, we've even come to at least recognise the short circuited compassion in a badly abused woman killing her children before taking her own life.

But somehow a "failure to cope with life" is an irredeemable moral weakness, even when a social animal is effectively denied all but the most rudimentary of social networks, and left to manage solely on their own manifestly inadequately merits and resources.

Once upon a menengelic time, when we did to other primates in the name of research, what we've never stopped routinely doing to each other on a daily basis, self harm, lethal neglect and infanticide were the norms. We don't do those experiments any more because they are far too cruel for contemplation.

The wonder is not that some of us kill our own young, it's that we don't do it a fuckload more often.

When we treat each other like animals and insensate things we become animals and insensate things. And you want to cheerily tell me "I'm better than that." as if that's the end of all necessary discussion.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 09:41 AM

6. It was so good to read your post. It amazes me how many folks can come up with ....

so many punishment schemes that would never meet the Constitutional mandate to not be "cruel and unusual", here at DU. I don't know what the truth is here and neither does anybody else except mom. The punishment the law calls out for in this case seems reasonable in light of the unknowables in this case. And you are right: so many of us in the right situation are a hair away from doing dark deeds. Look at the punishments proposed here on DU.

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Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:52 PM

3. On the surface, from the quote, I was prepared to cut her some slack

I've played games with my kids where they "hid" under the cushions, and I sat on them. It would be heartbreaking if they suffocated and I didn't know.

But then if you click on the article you read this paragraph:

But during a lengthy videotaped police interrogation, Lopez finally admitted to detectives that she had purposely placed her hand over Kamilah's mouth and nose in an effort to stop the toddler from crying. Lopez said Kamilah was crying for her father who was not home at the time.

And all my sympathy flew out the window.

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