Deadbeat Dads Are Not Criminals Essay

2040 words - 8 pages

Fathers every year in Washington go to jail for nothing more than being broke (Deadbeat). They are called “dead beat dads” by their peers, scorn by society, and treated as subclass citizens (THE, ASSOCIATED). This is a very grim reality that men of every age range face daily. Both men and women make the choices which result in babies. However, women are given a choice at every stage of the child’s development to adopt out, abort, or even use contraception (Why). Thus, men and women share equal responsibility in the acts that conceive children. However, men do not have the same options women do (Why). Despite this, DCS hunts men down as if they are the answer to all of society’s problems, treating men like criminals until they lay a golden egg. Some men never do lay the golden egg, and these are the truly “dead broke” dads (Miller; Deadbeat). Ultimately, the question that we have to ask ourselves is, should we prosecute “dead-beat” dads? My stand on the issue is clear, and I believe I have the evidence on my side. I’ll tell you why this is a failure of society with statistics, testimony, experience, and court records. I should hope that once you have seen the evidence, and the pleas from the downtrodden fathers of society who have been forced to turn tail and run, endure endless nights in prison, and lose their jobs or even their licenses, you will see that this approach is not only a violation of their civil liberties; but, is a violation of their very rights to live.
First, I provide two interesting cases which clearly demonstrate my reasoning that prosecution of child support makes a man run by violating his civil liberties. My presentation begins with, Robin Miller. He’s what some would call a “deadbeat dad.” The story, as he tells it, begins with a child support hearing (Miller). At this hearing he had $540 he planned to pay on his order (Miller). Unfortunately, $540 wasn’t enough for the DA who threatened jail time if he could not come up with $2500 (Miller). As a result, Robin Miller refused to sign any order and kept the money he was going to pay (Miller). Miller believed he would need this money in order to pay for representation (Miller). The next case I submit to you is that of Andre F. Braxton. Braxton was in court for a child support debt of $61,000 (Deadbeat). Under the pressure of this debt Braxton made a $1,500 payment to the courts then fled the court room (Deadbeat). Deputies reported that Braxton never returned to his home (Deadbeat). As can be seen, I do not make these claims lightly. Both of these men were absolutely intent on paying their obligations; however, in both cases the men could not pay as much as the state demanded. As a result of this, one man ran and another withheld his payment. Were these men not under threat of loss of liberty (arrest), they may have been able to continue paying support obligations to a lesser degree. However, under the threat of arrest these men can no longer make any support payments....

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