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The post below was published on Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 at 10:21 PM.

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First District: Children Neglecting Children, Criminally

The Florida statute criminalizing a caregiver’s neglect of a child defines a caregiver as “a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare.” Is is reasonable to read the last portion of that definition as applying only to adults?

If you think so, then you would agree with Judge Padovano’s dissent in this case. He viewed the last phrase to be ambiguous because of the words preceding it, and, applying the rule of lenity, would have held that a minor cannot be an “other person” under the statute.

The majority disagreed and held the language to be plain and unambiguous. The court held that a minor can be charged with criminal neglect of a child.

















































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