What Justice?

How the killer of eight children got probation

Is this any way to treat a serial killer? Marie Noe has confessed to suffocating eight of her infant children between 1949 and 1968, but last week a Philadelphia judge sentenced her to 20 years' probation, under a plea bargain. Noe will also undergo psychiatric treatment to help researchers understand why mothers kill their babies. Isn't this just a slap on the wrist?

Not exactly, says the district attorney's office. Given her age--70--and the age of the case, prosecution would have been difficult. Now, with no lengthy trial in their way, psychiatrists can immediately begin to explore the psychodynamics of...

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