A False Perception Of Strength

Saturday, February 13, 2010

For Love and For Justice / Part 110 / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

The Best that Jensen Can Do
Part One of Two parts

Even a thin case can have the appearance of overwhelming and intimidating evidentiary value when it has been back lighted by a legislated power to remove children and hold on to them until a judicial ruling comes down. It has a perception of strength.

In the case of Paul and Zabeth Bayne and three children, Kent, Baden and Bethany, that darkly sinister evidence becomes smaller and smaller as the lumens of the spotlight of truth and justice are ever intensified.

Finn Jensen may have developed his case believing that it was strong. He is certainly a competent lawyer. Even this far into the trial he may be convinced that he can win this. Sadly, that’s what litigation aims at, winning! If he is successful, what will MCFD win? It will win the entitlement to keep the children from Paul and Zabeth permanently. It will win the right to force each of these three children to live throughout their remaining childhood and youth with adoptive parents and never to see their birth parents again, until perhaps one day as adults they opt to make a connection that was severed willfully not by their parents or themselves but by a judge and a ministry of a government under which they live.

Here is the best that Finn Jensen, counsel for the Ministry of Children can do in court.

What kind of evidence do you consider the following testimony to be? Jensen called Mike and Elizabeth Hoffman, a pastor and wife from Hope, B.C. where the Baynes resided at the time that this story began. These couples were friends, sharing faith and worship. The Hoffmans reported their concerns to authorities in 2007 and confirmed that report with testimony in the current hearing in January 2010. Based upon what he had learned in seminary psychology classes Michael Hoffman wondered whether Zabeth was suffering from post-partum depression and that she may have Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, an uncommon condition in which a person harms another in order to gain attention. Consider the nature of this hypothesis that would imply she might do harm to her children. Is that evidence? Hoffman is not a medical or psychiatric doctor. He is not an expert nor does he purport to be. I too have taken seminary psychology. Seminary pysch informs you enough to state an opinion but doesn’t qualify you to make an assessment that is entered as evidence that a woman is a risk to her children. This is specially true now that medical professionals were told in court that they could not state an opinion as to whether the Bayne baby’s injuries were accidental or non-accidental. It is Jensen’s folly not Hoffman’s that this was entered as evidence in a court of law. Hoffman surmised, speculated or supposed that Zabeth might be suffering from this condition, that’s all and that is not evidence. Combine that with his wife’s testimony and what does Jensen have? Elizabeth gave testimony that the two boys seemed small for their age and that the little girl started looking increasingly listless. That may be concern but is that evidence? The children’s doctor was more aware than they and was satisfied with the children’s health status. This testimony is in the court transcript and in a CBC online story. Here is a sidelight. From a pastoral standpoint since I pastored for four decades, I suggest that it would have been prudent and so much more in keeping with the calling of a shepherd to sit with Paul and Zabeth to talk, to inquire, to learn, to offer encouragement and to help and to pray. Perhaps there is even a plausible answer to the course the Hoffmans chose, but is this evidence?




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