Law: Poor Joshua!

The Supreme Court absolves states in child-abuse cases

Joshua DeShaney is paralyzed and profoundly retarded, the victim of brutal pummelings at age four by his father. Joshua, now nine, is also the victim of inaction by Wisconsin's Winnebago County department of social services. The agency failed to remove the child from his divorced father's custody despite continual reports of abuse for nearly two years, repeated hospitalizations for serious injuries, and regular observations by a caseworker of suspicious bumps and lesions. Joshua's father was convicted of child abuse in 1984 and paroled from prison after less than two years. Last week, in a ruling that stunned children's rights advocates around...

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