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UPDATE:

The decisions have been made. The case is over. Read the boldfaced portion for the nub. I'm surprised that everyone -- including the judge and prosecutor -- agreed.


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Quote:
Cassidy Goodson, Lakeland teen who strangled her newborn, gets 18 months in plea deal

Bartow, Florida -- Eighteen months for murdering her infant son.

That's the sentence Wednesday for the Lakeland teenager who hid her pregnancy and then choked her newborn son to death in September. If she plays her cards right, Cassidy Goodson could be out in time to graduate from High school.

It's a rare case where everyone seemed to be in agreement.

The facts of the case are horrible: a newborn's life taken violently. But had Cassidy been convicted of murder and sent to prison, prosecutors, her defense attorney and ultimately the judge all agreed it would simply have been a second life lost.

They all say that in this case, Cassidy, now 15, deserved a second chance.


Cassidy went into labor on September 19 in a bathroom at her home, took a pair of scissors to "pry the baby out," and delivered the child alive and into the toilet.

Investigators say Cassidy lifted the moving infant from the toilet, felt for a pulse, found one, then placed her hands around the infant's neck and squeezed until he wasn't moving or breathing any longer. She took the infant's pulse again and found none.

Detectives add that Cassidy cleaned up the bathroom, bathed herself and the dead infant before placing him in a shoebox along with soiled towels and clothing.

The girl's mother did take her to Lakeland Regional Medical Center that day after seeing a mess in the bathroom, and the teen claimed she miscarried.

The mother found the baby's body in a shoebox three days later. The baby was a full term, 9.5 pound boy. Cassidy weighs 100 lbs.

Cassidy said she hid the pregnancy from her parents, but family members had told her mother they thought the teen may be pregnant.

She was arrested for first degree murder, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

With the teenager's family looking on, Judge Donald Jacobsen said he was satisfied that Cassidy -- a student with no criminal past -- was unlikely to pose a threat to anyone else.

He said she was "immature" and on Wednesday sentenced Cassidy to at least 18 months in a maximum security facility for juveniles. It'll most likely be the Hillsborough Girls Academy.

"Everybody cared about a young girl who had never been in any trouble before in her life and has a tremendous amount of potential... and no one wanted to throw that potential away," said Howardene Garrett, Cassidy's defense lawyer.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd -- whose department first investigated the case and recorded Cassidy's chilling re-enactment and confession -- agreed with the decision to reach a plea deal, but withheld comment on the length of the sentence.

"The murderer is 14, and so there has to be a penalty to pay. There has to be. But the challenge is to make sure that she's not back in the criminal justice system for something else, because there won't be another chance," said Sheriff Judd.

If Cassidy completes her program without incident, she'll appear before the judge again in 18 months. At that time, she could be placed on probation and set free.

However, if she violates the terms of her release, she could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison as an adult.

Speaking outside the courtroom, Cassidy's grandfather, Richard Goodson said he wanted to thank the community for its prayers.

"She's a good girl," he said. "She just made a terrible mistake."
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TommyKae's avatar

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I don't believe in the death penalty for personal reasons and because it has never been proven that a death penalty acts as a deterrent for crime. As screwy as it may sound I don't think life sentences are right for people under the age of 21 unless they are truly heinous. My reasoning behind that last statement is that I know at 14, 18, 20 I was a completely different person that I am now. My thought process, morals, just general personality is different. The stupid s**t I did as a youth is now looked upon as, well, stupid s**t.

I say all that but know I would likely be thinking different if I was the father of the child she killed.
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TommyKae
I don't believe in the death penalty for personal reasons and because it has never been proven that a death penalty acts as a deterrent for crime. As screwy as it may sound I don't think life sentences are right for people under the age of 21 unless they are truly heinous. My reasoning behind that last statement is that I know at 14, 18, 20 I was a completely different person that I am now. My thought process, morals, just general personality is different. The stupid s**t I did as a youth is now looked upon as, well, stupid s**t.

I say all that but know I would likely be thinking different if I was the father of the child she killed.
The father would probably have been 15-17 ish, and if she never told her parents then she probably never told him either.
It probably doesn't even occur to him that the kid might've been his.
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TommyKae
I don't believe in the death penalty for personal reasons and because it has never been proven that a death penalty acts as a deterrent for crime. As screwy as it may sound I don't think life sentences are right for people under the age of 21 unless they are truly heinous. My reasoning behind that last statement is that I know at 14, 18, 20 I was a completely different person that I am now. My thought process, morals, just general personality is different. The stupid s**t I did as a youth is now looked upon as, well, stupid s**t.

I say all that but know I would likely be thinking different if I was the father of the child she killed.
The father would probably have been 15-17 ish, and if she never told her parents then she probably never told him either.
It probably doesn't even occur to him that the kid might've been his.


Then I even more so disagree with the death penalty and extended jail term for this girl. Sure she may have murdered her child and there's no getting around that. But this little girl must have been scared shitless about what to do. She was pregnant so I'm sure that added to her problems. My understanding is that the chemicals ones pregnant body releases effects, in some cases, a womans mind. (I know that sounds terrible the way I wrote it)

It's a very sad situation, a scared girl murdering her child, her parents losing a granchild and maybe a daughter, a young boy who is like you said probably clueless about it all. Though now he may have an idea it was his or at least thinking maybe.
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TommyKae
That Scruffy Mule
TommyKae
I don't believe in the death penalty for personal reasons and because it has never been proven that a death penalty acts as a deterrent for crime. As screwy as it may sound I don't think life sentences are right for people under the age of 21 unless they are truly heinous. My reasoning behind that last statement is that I know at 14, 18, 20 I was a completely different person that I am now. My thought process, morals, just general personality is different. The stupid s**t I did as a youth is now looked upon as, well, stupid s**t.

I say all that but know I would likely be thinking different if I was the father of the child she killed.
The father would probably have been 15-17 ish, and if she never told her parents then she probably never told him either.
It probably doesn't even occur to him that the kid might've been his.


Then I even more so disagree with the death penalty and extended jail term for this girl. Sure she may have murdered her child and there's no getting around that. But this little girl must have been scared shitless about what to do. She was pregnant so I'm sure that added to her problems. My understanding is that the chemicals ones pregnant body releases effects, in some cases, a womans mind. (I know that sounds terrible the way I wrote it)

It's a very sad situation, a scared girl murdering her child, her parents losing a granchild and maybe a daughter, a young boy who is like you said probably clueless about it all. Though now he may have an idea it was his or at least thinking maybe.
They're not going to kill her. She's going to do a year and a half, the update said.

They need more than just "don't do it at all evar unless you're married then god says it's okay" in their sex-ed classes or this sort of crap is just going to keep happening.
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That Scruffy Mule
TommyKae
That Scruffy Mule
TommyKae


They need more than just "don't do it at all evar unless you're married then god says it's okay" in their sex-ed classes or this sort of crap is just going to keep happening.


I agree but in the US parents would lose their s**t if we began to tell our little women how to handle pregnancy. We seem to think that if an adult talks about sex to children that would drive all the children to star making babies. As if they weren't already doing that.

But how do you help these girls when a baggy sweatshirt hides their pregnancy. I when I was younger I had a friend whose sister was pregnant and no one new until about a month before she reached term because she wore baggy clothes. Her own family didn't know.
That Scruffy Mule's avatar

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TommyKae
I agree but in the US parents would lose their s**t if we began to tell our little women how to handle pregnancy. We seem to think that if an adult talks about sex to children that would drive all the children to star making babies. As if they weren't already doing that.

But how do you help these girls when a baggy sweatshirt hides their pregnancy. I when I was younger I had a friend whose sister was pregnant and no one new until about a month before she reached term because she wore baggy clothes. Her own family didn't know.
Kids/teens tend to react pretty well when an adult they respect is honest and open with them on a subject. Teach them how to not get pregnant to begin with, give them the information they need to make informed decisions and be safe. Without the proper information, their options are limited to "no sex at all" or "unprotected babymakin' sex". And they're not going to pick "no sex at all".
Though 14 really is very young. The father will probably be arrested for statutory rape.
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It sounds like you feel very strongly about this but please, do not take your feelings about this out on me; I commented on this forum a few months ago and by the time I got one quote on my post my opinion had already started to change after hearing what someone else thought. I agree with you that it would have been much better for her to get an abortion (I myself am an advocate of birth control and abortion), and I have always thought that. I'm just not a person who believes in death penalty unless they themselves would much rather have death penalty then spend the rest of their lives in jail. Thank you for sharing your opinion with me though; although I would have much rathered you not have been so rude to me.



This whole thing caught me at a very, VERY bad time in my life. I'm a caregiver for my parents. Both are disabled and my father suffers a long-term terminal illness, which he is, currently, in hospice care dying of as we speak. About a year ago, they went homeless, and so did I. We've been living in a crappy, one-room motel room for about a year and since then, of course, nothing has improved.
I haven't had a lot of patience this past year, and I've reached an age where I don't suffer liberals gladly. Not that you're a liberal or anything like that.
You just sort of got caught in the cross-fire, is all. At least it was words and not bullets. LOL. Sorry to have been harsh, but I feel I must warn you. It will, most likely, happen again. But, I don't think it will happen twice to the same person - hopefully. At this point, I'm under so much stress that I'm just as likely to bite someone's nose off as I'm am to smile and say, "Hi!". confused So, I'd play me carefully.
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That Scruffy Mule


They need more than just "don't do it at all evar unless you're married then god says it's okay" in their sex-ed classes or this sort of crap is just going to keep happening.


Agreed. Apparently Florida is one of the worst when it comes to their abstinence only education policies (no real surprise, it is Florida after all).
EarthBoundBaby

This whole thing caught me at a very, VERY bad time in my life. I'm a caregiver for my parents. Both are disabled and my father suffers a long-term terminal illness, which he is, currently, in hospice care dying of as we speak. About a year ago, they went homeless, and so did I. We've been living in a crappy, one-room motel room for about a year and since then, of course, nothing has improved.
I haven't had a lot of patience this past year, and I've reached an age where I don't suffer liberals gladly. Not that you're a liberal or anything like that.
You just sort of got caught in the cross-fire, is all. At least it was words and not bullets. LOL. Sorry to have been harsh, but I feel I must warn you. It will, most likely, happen again. But, I don't think it will happen twice to the same person - hopefully. At this point, I'm under so much stress that I'm just as likely to bite someone's nose off as I'm am to smile and say, "Hi!". confused So, I'd play me carefully.


I'm deeply sorry about that, good wishes to you and your family; It's fine, honestly I was basically just confused when you quoted me haha. And if it happens again just eh, please, think before you post, because I know that a lot of people out there could get hurt from something of that sort. Have a nice day ~!
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I believe that the parents were partially to blame for the incident, however the 14 year-old should also be held accountable for the act.A higher-being will decide what the true consequences will be for all individuals involved, even the attitudes of society won't escape scrutiny.

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