Saturday, November 19, 2011

Russia Seeks International Arrest Warrant for American APs Who Killed Russian Boy

From the Washington Post:
Russia will seek tougher punishment for an American couple convicted in the U.S. of the involuntary manslaughter of a 7-year-old boy they adopted from the country, authorities said Saturday.

Michael and Nanette Craver of York County in Pennsylvania were sentenced Friday to the 19 months they have already spent in prison for the 2009 head-injury death of their adopted son Nathaniel, formerly Ivan Skorobogatov.

Russia’s federal Investigative Committee said in a statement it will seek an international arrest warrant for the Cravers and prove that the murder was brutal and premeditated.

“That’s the opinion the prosecutors in the U.S. court stick to, and the Investigative Committee fully shares it,” according to the statement from the country’s top investigative body.

Prosecutors had argued that the boy died from repeated blows to the head, but offered no theory at trial about which parent delivered them.

The Cravers insist the boy suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and attachment disorders. They claimed he ran headlong into a stove the night before they found him unconscious.
Hmmm, can't say I expect much to come of this (lots of difficulties in prosecuting crimes that occur outside your borders and committed by non-citizens even if the victim is a citizen of Russia), but 19 months for involuntary manslaughter (meaning a reckless or grossly negligent killing) of a child seems pretty low. . . .

The New York Times also reports on the angry reaction of the Russian government to the lenient sentence.  The article includes the explanation of the trial judge for the time served sentence:
"Judge Kennedy, in ordering that the couple serve no more jail time, said he did not believe that they posed a danger to the community, or that a stiffer sentence would serve as an example for others. He also said that given their ages — Mr. Craver is 47 and Mrs. Craver is 56 — he did not believe they would become parents again."

Of course, they are already parents of another child -- the twin of the boy they were convicted of killing.  The judge also refused prosecutors' request that he order that the Cravers have no unsupervised contact with her until she turns 18, but the judge said he would leave such decisions to child welfare officials.   

Nov. 29, 2011:  As predicted, this isn't going anywhere!  Russian court rules against issue of arrest warrant for Michael, Nanette Craver.



Steve said...

I agree that nothing will come of this request.

I cannot see the United States extraditing two American citizens to face a trial for a crime which occurred in the United States and for which they have already been prosecuted. These criminals stills have double jeopardy protections under the United States Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think Russia has a lot of gull. They adopted out thousands of children internationally, some of whom, knowingly had FAS or RAD and had major issues from being institutionalized in one of the worst countries for being in an orphanage, and many of these children had it worse with their biological parents before being in the orphanages. I'm frankly surprised there have not been more cases of abuse of children that came from Russia's institutions.
I'm not condoning what these ap's did, by any means, but Russia has not been less than forthright in disclosing the problems many of it's older institutionalized children had before adoption, even though in most cases, it was probably obvious to the caretakers.

Anonymous said...

So quick to dismiss the possibility of their innocence?

I guess the term involuntary then was a gift to these unscrupulous murdering parents?

Seems to me their sentences were in line with others who have killed under deemed "involuntary" situations: car accidents resulting in death, malpractice, etc. NOT saying its right or enough...but why the double standard? Because this child was adopted overseas?

Are drunk drivers who kill stripped of their parenting rights? Not often, if at all.

My heart goes out to the child but my gut tells me Anon. has caught on to something too. If Russia holds such concern, perhaps their legislative and court efforts should be spent finding suitable incountry homes for their own. AND/OR assisting adoptive families by giving complete and clear medical/anecdotal records on these at risk children.

Not making headlines.

Anon. 2

Anonymous said...

I hope they will get it all the way. These "parents".
Judge`s decision is a joke. Why does he still has his job??????