Your book, "Defending Jacob," features a father who will do anything to save his son. My book, "The Perfect Mother" portrays a mother who will do anything to save her daughter. Both parents ignore whatever clues they don't want to see. And in both cases, the spouse is more suspicious. Do you think it's a parent's obligation to defend his or her child at any cost?Learn more about the book and author at William Landay's website and blog.
No, certainly not. Of course every parent has a duty to her children, to love and support them, but every parent also has a duty to her neighbors, her fellow citizens -- to protect them from harm, to see that the laws are obeyed. (I'm speaking here of moral duties as well as legal ones.) In most cases, those private and public duties never conflict; by being good parents we are also being good citizens. But there are cases where the two roles can't be reconciled. That is certainly the situation in Defending Jacob. If a parent were to prevent the conviction of a murderer who happens to be her child, would she be morally complicit in the next murder the child commits? What if she knew (with as much certainty as any parent can have in these cases) that the child was...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Defending Jacob.