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When a mother is Accused of Murdering Her Own Children
When a mother is Accused of Murdering Her Own Children. People in Duxbury and beyond are still trying to make sense of how 32-year-old Lindsay Clancy, a labor and delivery nurse, could kill two of her children and try to kill a third child before leaping out of the window of their home in an apparent attempt to end her own life. Clancy killed two of her children and tried to kill the fourth child.
A memorial was held on Thursday in front of 47 Summer Street in Duxbury, and guests went by to pay their respects. It is incomprehensible to imagine a scenario in which a mother, whose hands had previously been used to gently care for infants, would later use those same hands to suffocate her own children.
Based on a cursory examination of the information that has been made available to the general public, a number of experts have hypothesized that Clancy may have been suffering from postpartum psychosis at the time that she murdered her daughter Cora, who was five years old, and her son Dawson, who was three years old.
Her seven-month-old baby is currently being treated at Boston Children’s Hospital after surviving what the authorities have described as an attempt to strangle him. Clancy discussed her experience with postpartum anxiety in a post that she published on her Facebook page in the month of July.
The District Attorney for the city of Plymouth, Timothy J. Cruz, expressed his sympathy for the Clancy family, saying that he could not “begin to imagine the anguish, the depths of pain” that they are going through. Even yet, Cruz proceeded to charge Clancy with two counts of murder notwithstanding the circumstances.
If a more recent case in Plymouth County involving a mother who murdered her children is any indication, the procedure to determine whether or not Clancy was mentally ill at the time she murdered her children, and whether or not this constitutes a mitigating factor, will be settled during a court process that is likely to take several years.
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If Cruz hadn’t brought the murder charge against Clancy, he would have left himself open to accusations that he was giving preferential treatment to a middle-class, professional white woman from an upscale town just one month after his office secured a murder conviction against a poor, Black woman from Brockton who had killed her two sons in 2018. Clancy had been charged with the murder of her two sons in 2018. This conviction was the result of a challenging legal process that lasted over four years.
Latarsha Sanders, 48, was found guilty of stabbing her two boys, Edson “Marlon” Brito, 8, and La’Son Brito, 5, and was given a sentence of life in prison by a jury in Plymouth County, after her defense that she was insane at the time of the stabbings was rejected.
The family of Sanders maintained that she had been suffering from mental illness for years but she refused treatment. The prosecution had the backing of the boys’ father, Edison Brito, who also provided testimony against Sanders.
The prosecution stated that Sanders showed criminal intent by cleaning up the gory scene, blaming others for the deaths of her sons, and then admitting that she killed her sons as part of a ritual after she had already admitted to stabbing them.
After a lengthy trial that lasted for nine days, the jury only deliberated for a total of four hours. Following the conclusion of the trial, the attorney for Sanders, Elliot R. Levine, expressed his disappointment to the Globe by saying, “Juries just don’t buy the insanity defense.”
The decision by Cruz to prosecute her for murder in the first degree was described as “draconian” by Levine. Cruz acted in accordance with what he views as his commitment to upholding the law in his capacity as a prosecutor.
Levine testified during Sanders’ sentence hearing that Sanders’ family does not consider her to be a dangerous criminal who poses a threat to the general public. But he admitted that the punishment a Superior Court Judge William F. Sullivan handed down was mandatory and that the judge had no discretion in the matter.
“The family has been totally and completely supportive of Miss Sanders because they have recognized from day one that she was insane at the time that she killed her two children,” Levine said to Sullivan. “They have known from the beginning that she was insane at the time that she killed her two children.” “From the beginning, they had maintained this stance, and they were taken aback by the level of craziness that she possessed.”
Sullivan acknowledged the terrible circumstances while sitting on the bench, and he did so by referencing the ancient Greek poet Aeschylus. Sullivan stated, “After the verdict, I kept thinking about the punishment that would take place here today.”
And continued to dwell on the fact that there were two young boys. The lyrics “pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart” is from a poem that was written many years ago, and they brought to mind those lines.
Regardless of the outcome of the case against Lindsay Clancy, the trauma caused by the events that took place inside that house on Summer Street in Duxbury will continue to wreak havoc on the lives of a great number of people for a very long time, if not indefinitely.
Cruz made this observation following the passing of Sanders’ sentence: “There are no victors in the courtroom today.” No of the outcome of the investigation into whether or not Lindsay Clancy was responsible for the murders of her children, there will be no victorious parties. Just pain.