Attorney Threatens to Prosecute Parents Who Co-Sleep
February 29, 2012
An Indiana prosecutor has warned that co-sleeping is no longer merely a personal or familial choice; under current state law he can and will prosecute parents of babies who die while co-sleeping in his jurisdiction.
Delaware County Prosecutor Jeff Arnold has vowed to take an aggressive approach against parents whose infants died as a result of co-sleeping. “I’m not going to overlook that anymore as stupidity, I’m going to try to prosecute those cases,” he told Indiana's NewsCenter. Arnold explained that co-sleeping was a factor in many of the infant deaths he has seen in the past year.
Arnold isn’t the only prosecutor jumping into the co-sleeping debate; prosecutors from across the country, with support from the American Academy of Pediatrics, have decided to take a stand against this controversial parenting choice. A couple in Utah just began their trial in January for the death of their second child due to co-sleeping and a Texas couple had been charged with endangerment after their child died also while co-sleeping.
Arnold doesn’t plan to prosecute all parents of babies who die while co-sleeping, though: ”I’m not prosecuting that parent who just lacks the education or the knowledge to not co-sleep,” he explained, and specified that he’ll definitely prosecute in cases where drugs and alcohol are present.
Do you think parents should be punished for their decision to co-sleep? Do you think that this practice should be made illegal?