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Banita Jacks sentenced to 120 years

Washington Post editors

Banita Jacks, convicted of murder and other charges in the deaths of her four daughters in a SE Washington rowhouse, was sentenced to 120 years in prison Friday by a judge who said the case "will probably haunt me for the rest of my life."

Jacks, 35, whose case highlighted questions about the inadequacy of the District's child welfare system, was arrested in January 2008 after the decomposed remains of the girls, ages 5 to 16, were found in the rowhouse where Jacks had been living like a hermit, with no electricity and litte food.

Patholigists later concluded that the youngsters, discovered in two upstairs bedrooms, had been dead for at least seven months.

Jacks, who repeatedly had declined her attorneys' urging to invoke an insanity defense, was convicted in July in a non-jury trial before D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick H. Weisberg.

In sentencing her yesterday, Weisberg, who has been on the bench for more than 30 years, said the case occupied his mind in the past two years like no other in his career.

-- Paul Duggan

By Washington Post editors  |  December 18, 2009; 1:44 PM ET
Categories:  Paul Duggan , The District  
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This is poorly written. A simple spell check would have remedied the typos.

Posted by: genevievefugere | December 18, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

In time all of this will be over ruled or changed and the lady will get the mental help she needs.

Posted by: oknow1 | December 18, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a fair and just sentence. What a terrible outcome for all involved

Posted by: Attylaw | December 18, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

She would have been found not guilty by a PG County court.

Posted by: checkered1 | December 18, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

For what she did to her children, 120 years is not enough.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | December 18, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

How many spelling errors can one article contain?! This article is an embarrassment.

Posted by: Aaron20011 | December 18, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Truly one of the saddest stories I've heard in a long time. Those poor girls.

Posted by: GHoyah1 | December 18, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow...could someone please run this article past an editor? I'm not perfect, and don't usually call out flaws, but this was just painful!

"in the bench"? Lovely.

Anyway, Ms. Jacks will get to spend the rest of her life in prison...that's probably not such a bad deal, considering where she came from.

Posted by: akchild | December 18, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Put her into the Ronnie White cell of the jail. . if anyone is deserving of that honor, its her! Bless those 4 angels in heaven!!

Posted by: Robbnitafl | December 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Spell check.

Posted by: tameliz | December 18, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

This ugly wench should be hung.

Posted by: Italiaxxx | December 18, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Seriously? It's called having an editor and/or a proofreader. The typos on this article are an embarrassment to you and your profession and the Washington Post. It's really mind boggling how this even made it to publishing.

Posted by: isosd | December 18, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Rot in hell, thug!

Posted by: SkinsDiesel | December 18, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Yea, it must be tough being a judge. Imagine, you get to hear a trial and call the Balls and Strikes, but you NEVER have to go on the street, as the men and women of the Metropolitan Police do.

I wonder what is was like for them, day after day, going to work and striving to do one's best only to hear that self serving statement that YOU may be haunted for the rest of your life because of a case you heard in your court. A case they saw first hand, on the scene that so many of you have never seen.

Give me a break.

Merry Christmas, to those dedicated members of the Metropolitan Police Department.

John Rentz

Posted by: | December 18, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Where is the system of justice when this women is sick.>>Billy Ray

Posted by: bredwards | December 18, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Where is system of justice when this women is sick.>>Billy Ray

Posted by: bredwards | December 18, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Put her into the Ronnie White cell of the jail. . . hopefully with the same result as Ronnie.

Posted by: Robbnitafl | December 18, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

If she can kill children, why is she allowed to live? Too bad this did not happen in Virginia, there she would get her just desert. If she IS mentally incapacitated, then she should spend life in a mental hospital, not prison.

Posted by: gamiller1 | December 18, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

For this awful crime, she will probably be paroled in 15 years or less. The District and Maryland have no cojones when it comes to prison sentences or, in MD, the death sentence.

Posted by: mortified469 | December 18, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

does anybody at WaPo least use spell-check? clearly proofreading has gone out the window..
"fior the rest of my life"
"with litte food"

Posted by: washtv | December 18, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

What does "uging" mean? I've never heard that term used.

Jacks got what she deserves and she knows it! Sad world in which we live!

Posted by: joejack65 | December 18, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

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