CNN: Wal-Mart restroom birth leads to prison — Mother who abandoned newborn convicted of murder

MACON, Georgia (AP) — A 27-year-old woman was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison for leaving her newborn daughter in a Wal-Mart restroom last year.

Amy Shorter covered her face after the verdict was read Wednesday, and several relatives cried as they left the courtroom. They declined to comment.

The jury found Shorter guilty of felony murder for causing the baby’s death while committing first-degree cruelty to children. . .

This story is staggering to me on two grounds.

First, if this woman had killed her baby inside her womb (or while the baby was still partially inside of her) she would be guilty of no crime whatsoever, yet minutes later she is a murderer in the eyes of the law for abandoning that same baby.

Does this make any sense at all? I really don’t see how it does.

Secondly, does it make any sense that this woman was sentenced to life in prison for this crime? I don’t see how it does. I think there should be some sort of consequences for what she did, but life in prison? That just seems excessive, particularly given the fact this mother seemed to have committed this crime out of panic rather than volition.

Life in prison is an appropriate punishment for murderers who are likely to reoffend, but for crimes of passion and panic, the statistics say that offenders are unlikely to ever commit the crime ever again, and if this is the case then what purpose is there in throwing away a human life to life behind bars? One life has already been needlessly cast aside, I don’t see what good there is throwing away another life.