More revelation in the sad, but hopeful, case of Haleigh Poutre. Newly released court documents reveal that the Mass. Department of Social Services waited only six days before petitioning the court to kill her. If you don’t recall the details of the case, I blogged it about it here, here, and here.
The DSS gained custody of Haleigh on September 13, two days after she was brought in to the emergency room by her adoptive mother and stepfather, both of whom allegedly abused her. She had been beaten so bad, part of her brain stem had been sheared. But the state agency, which had failed to protect Haleigh despite repeated reports of abuse, tried to immediately sweep her under the rug as a lost cause on September 19, only six days later. They claimed she had zero chance of a “meaningful recovery.” How about an partially meaningful recovery? In January, Haleigh miraculously began to respond to people around her.
The court brief by the DSS was filed on December 5 and made public this week. The released version is heavily redacted. Attorneys for Haleigh’s jailed stepfather and her biological mother who abandoned her (the adoptive mother, who was her biological aunt, killed herself after being charged) spoke out for the need for more information to be released by DSS. What’s disturbing is that with all these lawyers, there is no one to speak for Haleigh. No one whose primary interest is her best interests. She’s still a pawn.