In Eugene, Ore., outrage has been sparked over graphic details in a report surrounding the starvation, torture, and resulting death of a teen girl. The Register-Guard has been updating Oregon residents on the progress of a hearing in whether Angela McAnulty should get the death penalty for the torture/murder of her teen daughter in 2009. If a jury decides McAnulty should get the death penalty, she will be the first woman on Oregon’s death row since the capital punishment was reinstated in 1978.
Angela McAnulty has pleaded guilty of intentional maiming and torture of her 15-year-old daughter, Jeanette Maples. Jeanette died as a result of ongoing starvation, neglect, and horrific abuse. This was at the hands of her own mother while her step-father, Richard McAnulty, enabled and witnessed the maltreatment for years on end. His trial will begin in May for his role in Jeanette Maple’s death. Prosecuters are not seeking the death penalty for him, however.
On Friday, February 11, 2011 The Register-Guard newspaper outlined graphic details in the starvation and torture McAnulty, 42, inflicted on her helpless daughter for at least four years inside the home. The report shocked readers, but was a voice for the girl who suffered the most.
First report on graphic details inside Jeanette Maples’ murder
An editorial in The Register-Guard was addressed a week later as to why the vivid accounts were published in the paper. Many readers were offended at the bloody, cruel details found in the newspaper’s report.
In a follow-up editorial, reader concerns were addressed over the report’s contents. With the death penalty being the ultimate punishment for Angela McAnulty, the details needed to be released so there was no question as to the severity of her crime. While so many, even in the legal system, are reluctant to agree with the death penalty, the grisly, unimaginable pain that Jeanette Maples endured had to be released so citizens would understand how unsettling this crime really is. It’s not just a light-hearted decision to pursue the death penalty by any means.
There’s another reason a graphic report of this nature had to be written: the state failed in protecting Jeanette Maples from the starvation and intentional torture at the hands of her mother. Several reports were called into state welfare workers over suspected abuse that McAnulty was inflicting on her daughter, but only a few of the calls were followed up on. When they did investigate, they concluded everything was fine.
Editorial defending graphic accounts of Jeanette Maples’ torture
In addition to the above being a good enough reason to detail the abuse Jeanette Maples went through, there is another factor undeniable in our modern pop culture when it comes to crime – being desensitized. As a society, crime has become an everyday norm they view as not always affecting them. In this child abuse case, the crime affects everyone — especially those who knew Jeanette Maples. This case brings to light just how awful child abuse can get when it’s discounted or not taken seriously. This girl’s abuse began as young as the age of seven and went on until her death December 9, 2009.
From Portland to all around the state, Oregon residents are appalled at the disturbing treatment Angela McAnulty forced her daughter to take from her. A mother is suppose to protect her children. What triggers a woman to intentionally cause the worst kind of pain on a child for years? Jeanette Maples literally lived hell on earth during her short lifetime.
Will Angela McAnulty get the death penalty for the unbelievable crimes she committed by starving, torturing, and murdering her daughter? Prosecution will continue presenting their case during the penalty phase this week.
Sources: The Register-Guard: Feb 11 edition and Feb. 17 edition