Vegan Parents Get Prison In Infant's Death

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  1. Vegan Parents Get Prison In Infant's Death

    Child Fed Mostly Soy Milk, Juice

    POSTED: 11:50 am CDT May 9, 2007

    ATLANTA -- Vegan parents in Georgia were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison after their 6-week-old son died of malnutrition.
    The baby, Crown Shakur, weighed only 3.5 pounds. He'd been fed mostly soy milk and apple juice. Vegans typically do not consume animal products.
    Defense lawyers say the first-time parents did the best they could for their son while adhering to the strict lifestyle of vegans. They said Sanders and Thomas did not realize the baby -- who was born in a bathtub at their home -- was in danger until minutes before he died in April of 2004.

    Jurors deliberated about seven hours before convicting the couple last week. Lamont Thomas, 31, and Jade Sanders, 27, were convicted of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children.

    Prosecutors claimed the baby suffered a prolonged and painful death, not because of what he was fed, but because he was fed too little and that his nutritional needs were deliberately ignored by his parents. They prosecutors said the couple intentionally neglected their child and refused to take him to the doctor even as the baby's body wasted away.

    During the trial, the father of the baby told the judge that wasn't true.

    "We're vegetarians; we are against animal cruelty, so why would I be cruel to my son? Why would I do something with his body? We are against animals being murdered; why would we be cruel to him and try to do something to his body," asked Thomas.

    Thomas criticized the prosecution and jury after he and his wife were found guilty.

    Prosecutors said the couple slowly starved the baby on a diet of soy milk and juice in such small quantities that he died of complications from malnourishment. The kitchen cupboards in the parents' apartment were empty at the time.

    But the father denied he caused his baby's death.

    "The fact that we named him Crown, we were proud of him. We weren't trying to kill my son," Thomas said in court Wednesday.

    Being found guilty of felony murder calls for a mandatory life prison sentence.

    The parent's lawyer said he would appeal the sentence.


    This whole thing is just so sad. I really don't believe they tried to kill their child. I think they wanted their child to live a vegan lifestyle, but went about it incorrectly.

  2. totally agree. I think it's great that they were trying to bring their son up in an earthly manner. it's a shame that all those charges were pressed. I can't imagine the grief.
  3. if their baby wasted away to what is about half of a normal baby's BIRTH weight at 6 weeks old, then the parents should be held accountable for his death. i don't think a murder charge is appropriate (because in Georgia,a charge of murder assumes intent - i think they were just freakin' idiots), but putting their diet before their son's wellbeing is negligent.

    there are MANY parents out there who raise their children in healthy vegan and vegetarian ways from birth, and these parents appear to have willfully chosen NOT to do that. it should have been obvious to them that their baby was losing weight quickly and they should have either changed the diet to a more appropriate non-animal one or taken the baby to the doctor, because any reasonable human would put the life of their small child ahead of their political beliefs.
  4. Vegan or not, these parents should have had the common sense to see what was happening to that baby. Good grief! A 3.5lb 6 week old baby?! ~ That poor little thing. While I don't think they had malicious intent, they do hold direct responsibility for their child's death. This wasn't some quick accident of sorts. That child suffered. I can't excuse that & say, "Oh, but they meant well"..
  5. Good. Hopefully this sends a message.
  6. The parents were incredibly cruel to their infant. The baby died so horribly wasting away before their eyes and they let it happen. If they wanted to bring the baby up w/o formula why the heck did the mother not breastfeed? Is breast milk an animal product? I want to scream at their stupidity. They are obviously too selfish and too dumb to be parents.
  7. cannot understand how the child could not survive on soya milk, many babies allergic to cows milk are reared on this & do well. seems like it's not what they were feeding rather how much!
  8. I'm not excusing them at all. Their child died because they didn't bother to do the proper resarch on how to raise a healhy vegan baby.

    But I don't think they starved their child on purpose. The foster parents that fed the children nothing but powdered pancake mix were starving their child on purpose.
  9. And what's wrong with breast milk?
  10. I wholeheartedly agree. At that weight, even the most mentally deficient could be able to tell that child was dying of starvation. Whatever punishment is meted out to them cannot halfway sum what they deserve.
  11. The infant was only six weeks old when he died so soya milk (or cow's milk) were not appropriate.

    He definitely wasn't fed enough since at six weeks old he only weighed 3.5 pounds.
  12. I agree, this story is so sad.
  13. This literally makes me want to vomit. That poor baby...and such selfish and idiotic parents. ARRGGHGHH!
  14. Breast milk is the most natural and nutritious food for a six week old infant whilst soya milk and apple juice are not.
  15. wow...i am so speechless..

    they had poor decision making.