Monday, May 31, 2010

Proposed Massachusetts law would terminate parental rights of spouse killers

A Massachusetts legislator and a man whose mother was killed by her husband is attempting to pass a law that would automatically terminate parental rights of people convicted of killing their spouses. The law is gaining attention due to the case of a man who allegedly beat and strangled his wife in front of her two children.

Keith Rosiello, a Shrewsbury engineer, [is] facing charges of beating and strangling his wife. Prosecutors say Rosiello left his wife’s battered body on a couch before the eyes of his daughter and 6-year-old son. Rosiello, 45, is asking a judge to clear the way for his kids to visit him behind bars - a bid expected to be challenged by the state Department of Children and Families. Rosiello’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment.

The proposed law, known as Patrick's Law, was proposed by Patrick Holland, whose father is serving life without parole for killing his mother. The then 14 year old Holland fought off an attempt by his murderous dad to reconnect with him. Rep. Peter Koutoujian (D-Waltham) is the legislator who has been trying to pass such a law for the last 6 years.

With eight of 10 domestic violence homicides this year taking place in the home, Koutoujian, a former prosecutor, said: “I’m worried we’re going to have more cases like Patrick’s and more cases like the Rosiello children.”

According to Maureen Gallagher, policy director for Jane Doe, Inc. - The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, “It is unconscionable to require children to continue unwanted relationships with battering parents who killed their other parent. These children deserve every chance possible to start their life again in a safe environment."

Holland said that his adoptive parents, Ron and Rita Lazisky, taught him what it truly means to be a parent.  “It’s whoever’s in your corner,” he said. “It’s someone who gives you the stable foundation to help you to be your best. I know she wanted the best for me. I’m trying to live up to that.”

No comments: