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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

It's Time to Criminalize Co-Sleeping Deaths

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Another Milwaukee baby has died after co-sleeping with his mother.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner says six day old Cayden Durr died after sleeping with his mother on a sofa.  The mother had been drinking and admitted taking a percocet. 

Because of the alcohol and percocet there is the possibility that the mom could be charged with a crime. But there is no guarantee and that has to change. State Representative Samantha Kerkman tried to criminalize co-sleeping with infants if the caregiver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The measure never got any traction.

I would go a step further. If you co-sleep with a baby and the baby suffocates, you should be charged with a crime. Regardless of whether alcohol or drugs are involved it should be crime.  It's simple. If you co-sleep with a baby and that baby gets smothered, you get charged with a crime.

All the other things we have been trying are clearly not working. we have done the provocative billboards. We've offered free cribs.  We've amped up the education. None of it is working.

Sometimes punishment is the only way to send a clear, concise message.

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