March 29, 2009
This story, about an Italian boy, came from Reuters News service in Europe. The story referred to him as a “boy” which could make him anywhere from 15 to 20 years of age. In this account we’ll go with the “boy” description.
The boy was released from prison after serving a brief sentence for an undisclosed conviction. Even in Europe they don’t reveal the details of juvenile crimes.
The boy was sent home to “reside in the custody of his parents.” He was told by the court to obey his parents in all things or suffer a return to prison where life would be far more difficult.
The boy was happy to be home again, free to do as he pleased. At least that’s what he thought. The boy kept a diary in which he described his days back at home: “My father told me to fold my hands and bow my head as the family said the blessing at each meal.”
The boy’s diary continued: “Before each meal my mother insisted that I wash my hands and remove my cap before sitting down at the table. Punishment didn’t stop there,” the boy wrote. “After each meal I was forced to clear my place and put the dishes in the sink. Every few days I was required to help wash and dry the dishes. It’s as if I was a servant in my own home!”
The boy complained further that his father set a curfew each night which had to be met or the boy was put on restriction (grounded) and would not be allowed to leave the house for from one to three days.
The boy said, in a petition to the court, that the treatment he received at the hands of his own father and mother was what the lawyers call “cruel and unusual punishment.”
The boy concluded his petition to return to prison by saying: “Every day my parents expected me to make my own bed or they’ll deny me my rights. That’s the last straw!”
Posted by Bob Ford at 3/29/2009