“Outrage Over [Canadian] Ruling That Mom Who Strangled Daughter Won’t Be Jailed”

The Vancouver Sun reports. The judge found the mother guilty of manslaughter and not murder, which in context sounds like a judgment that she did not intent to kill her 14-year-old daughter. But the mother’s conduct still seems appalling enough to merit serious punishment, even in the absence of an intent to kill:

Magomadova was charged after the deadly incident at their home the morning of Feb. 26, 2007, after [her daughter] Aminat refused to go to court to be sentenced for assaulting a female teacher at her school.

The devout Muslim mother claimed Aminat came at her with a knife in her sewing room, where she prayed several times a day. She said she reacted by wrapping the scarf around her daughter’s neck and twice told the girl to put the knife down before the teen lost consciousness.

A knife was found in the room, but the daughter’s fingerprints were not on it.

LoVecchio, who rejected a defence of self-defence, deemed the woman did not intend to kill the teen, even though medical examiner Dr. Sam Andrews testified that death as a result of such an act would have taken at least 2 1/2 minutes.

The mother apparently had a pretty difficult past — she came “from Chechnya, where her husband had been killed by Russian invaders and she had part of her foot blown off” — but that hardly seems a reason for a suspended sentence.

I should note, just to preempt some likely comments, that it’s not at all clear to me that the mother’s being Muslim had much to do with the lower sentence; it might just be that the judge was unduly sympathetic to a remorseful mother (and I have little reason to doubt that she was indeed remorseful). But if others know more about this case, this judge (Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sal LoVecchio), or the Canadian courts, especially in Calgary, I’d love to hear it. Thanks to commenter Alessandra for the pointer.

UPDATE: Uh-oh — I misread the age of the daughter, and initially blogged it as twelve; I’ve corrected it to fourteen. Thanks to commenter D.R.M. for the correction.