Child Snatch-backs: Justice Over Legality - Admission/Application Essay Example

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Child Snatch-backs: Justice over Legality So many stories have been told through the mass media about children being snatched away from their parents by people who do it out of sheer twisted thrill or for making money through kidnap and ransom. What may not have been given ample space in the media are the cases in which it is the parents who also snatch back their children…
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Child Snatch-backs: Justice Over Legality
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"Child Snatch-backs: Justice Over Legality"

In January 17, 1997, The Seattle Times came up with a news item about how a father allegedly kidnapped his daughter (Father Kidnaps Daughter…). Christopher Handsel is divorced from his wife. They have a child, Kaelyn Elizabeth Morgan whose custody was awarded to Handsel as the father. Handsel’s ex-wife remarried. However, even before the judge came up with decision on the custody of the child, Kaelyn was taken to Mexico by her mother and stepfather. This prompted Handsel to take matters into his hands. He decided to snatch back the child and bring her back to the country armed with the knowledge that the court had already decided that he should have custody of Kaelyn. With two accomplices, who are also Americans, Handsel went to Mexico to get his daughter. The three traveled to San Juan Cosala, a town near Guadalajara. It was there that Handsel was able to retrieve his daughter against the knowledge and wishes of his ex-wife. Handsel and his group along with the girl immediately crossed the border. Charges of aggravated kidnapping were immediately raised against Handsel and his accomplices. ...
The entire event itself led to debates regarding the legality of Handsel’s and his accomplices’ actions. There were those who insist that the issue is not about whether who should have custody of the child but on whether Handsel, the father, actually broke the law for her back to the country. However, the legality of the father’s actions can be a very complicated issue because it does not involve the laws of only the US but that of Mexico as well. Handsel did not face any kidnapping charge in the US because the court had decided previously that he should have custody of Kaelyn. The problem here is that the Mexican authorities saw otherwise, which was why they still sought for his and his companions’ arrest. Under this circumstance, the larger issue of child snatch-backs could be bogged down under the category of international legal controversies. Professionals in the legal field from both the US and Mexico would engage in a debate whether the American judge’s decision on child custody would be applicable in Mexico. They would even argue on the legality of the kidnapping charges filed by the Jalisco state police. One camp would insist that the method of getting the child without the consent of the current guardian can be considered as abduction while the other would defend Handsel’s action, stating that since he has been awarded with the custody of the child he could legally get her back regardless of the time, place, and circumstance. However, while the event led to a legal debate, the perspectives of Handsel and his daughter regarding the issue was hardly given attention. Handsel knew that he would probably have to contend with the circumstances of his actions, including criminal charges. Nevertheless, Read More
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