Wednesday, November 7, 2007

In The Year 2037

Taegen Elise McKinney

She would have and should have been able to celebrate her second birthday on November 11th. In 30 years, she probably would have been a beautiful, married woman with children of her own-celebrating her 32nd birthday. That was all taken away from little Taegen McKinney. Now her killer, Jose Garcia will have, at the very least, the next 30 years of his life taken away.

Jose Garcia pleaded guilty to child abuse in the stomping death of Taegen McKinney. He will be eligible for parole in the year 2037. In the year 2037, Jose Garcia will be 49 years old. No "spring chicken" by any stretch--but still young enough to live a productive life, when and if he gets out.

Taegen, on the other hand, as well as her family will never get that opportunity. Her Daddy will never get to walk her down the aisle, and give her away to her would-be husband. Her Mommy will never get the chance to give her advice or hold her when she's mending a broken heart. There will be no groundings for sneaking in late from a date. There will be no praise for good grades, no punishment for bad grades. All these moments--good, bad, and otherwise--have been taken away.

In September, I had the pleasure to go to Sahuarita, AZ and help out with the rally for Taegen's Law. It was an experience that I will never forget. I am grateful to have been able to help out in any way to honor Taegen's memory.

Taegen's family have a website in her memory. There is also a petition for tougher laws for child abusers and killers. Even though Taegen's killer is where he belongs, her family still needs help from everyone. This shouldn't have to happen to another family.


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