California's prisons are so overcrowded that three federal judges say it's damaging the physical and mental health of the inmates. So they've tentatively ordered the release of tens of thousands of non-violent prisoners to stop it from continuing.
With that in mind, may I issue an invitation to these judges?
Your Honors, please get yourselves on down to Whittier. Check out a three-bedroom house occupied by an older couple, their daughter and -- soon -- by her 14 children.
None of these children is older than seven. Three of the six older children have some kind of disability. Eight are infants, octuplets, with possible health complications, the scope of which is still unknown. Their mother has no job. She has no income, apart from the food stamps and disability checks for her children. She still owes $50,000 in student loans.
The six older children already sleep in bunk beds and get fed in shifts. Where will the other eight, the newborn octuplets, squeeze in when they come home? Who will pay for their food? Their medical needs? Who will change their diapers and look out after them not only now, in the glamor of their celebrity, but in the years to come?
So Your Honors -- please. If you can look out for the welfare of inmates, please look out for the welfare of these children. Find out whether all these circumstances mean that they too are in peril -- and if so, please consider ordering them to be released from these risky conditions, to homes.
[Who can still, in good conscience, say that this single heterosexual mother is de facto a better parent than a gay couple with the love and better means to adopt and bring up even one child?]
Give it some thought, Your Honors: do you think you need to Free the Whittier Eight?
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