Zahra’s Law – the very least we could do for you Zahra.
A tough new law inspired by the murder and dismemberment of 10-year-old disabled Australian schoolgirl Zahra Baker has come into effect in North Carolina. But I wonder why it has taken so long for such a law to be implemented. Zahra is by no means the first person to be murdered and dismembered in the US. It’s tardiness has denied Zahra full justice by being treated as a lesser crime. In my mind, it takes a particularly evil person to murder a child and then dismember the body.
Zahra’s Law makes dismembering human remains in North Carolina a Class one felony, allowing prosecutors to seek stiff penalties against offenders. The new law also applies to secretly dispose of a body or conceal a death.
Zahra Baker, born in the NSW country town of Wagga Wagga, moved with her father, Adam Baker, to the US after he met North Carolina woman Elisa Baker online and wed. Elisa, 43, entered a guilty plea to Zahra’s murder and dismemberment in September and is serving a 15 year prison sentence that outraged the local community because it was considered not harsh enough.
Adam Baker escaped punishment even though he showed wilful neglect of his young daughter. It appears both her parents let her down.
Zahra, who at the age of five had her lower left leg amputated after battling bone cancer, was reported missing from the family’s Hickory, North Carolina, home on 9 October 2010, and weeks later parts of her body and prosthetic leg were found tossed in bushland.