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Katelynn Sampson (Aboriginal foster child murdered) - Essay Example

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From all accounts she was a pleasant little girl who liked to jump rope and who had lots of friends in her South Parkdale, Toronto neighborhood. Ethnically she was bi-racial, with a native mother and…
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Katelynn Sampson (Aboriginal foster child murdered)
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Download file to see previous pages One of Katelynn’s custodial parents, Donna Irving, was taken into custody followed a short time later by the other, Warren Johnson.
In the days and months that followed, facts about Katelynn’s short life and sad death emerged. Her biological mother, Bernice Sampson, “pleaded to three counts of trafficking cocaine in 1998 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison” (Toronto Star, 2008). In January of 2008, Sampson was charged with drug trafficking again. If convicted on that charge she could be sentenced to prison which would have put Katelynn into the care of the Childrens Aid Society (CAS). Rather than risk having her daughter placed with CAS, Sampson voluntarily relinquished custody to Irving, who she called “her best friend.” One account says that Irving “gained custody of Katelynn through a family court application that did not involve any child and family service agency and showed no signs of a criminal-background check” (Toronto Star, 2008). Another claims, “The hearings before Ontario Court Justice Debra Paulseth involved Katelynns biological mother Bernice Sampson, the guardian now charged with her death, Donna Irving, and native family court worker Bela McPherson. Sparse and businesslike, the conversations were dominated by the legal requirement of determining Katelynns biological father and the need to move proceedings along” (Smith, 2008). If Judge Paulseth, Bernice Sampson, or Bela McPherson—someone had looked into Irving’s record, they would have discovered that Irving’s was no better than Sampson’s. “Irving was convicted in 2000 of communicating for the purpose of prostitution. In 1999, she pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and spent five days in custody and 18 months on probation. The year before, she was charged with possession of cocaine for trafficking—she entered a guilty ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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