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Please reply to the original post below in at least 250 words. You must incorporate at least three (3) peer-reviewed sources, one (1) of which must be the Bible. You are welcome to use two of the sources the orignal poster used. The response MUST provide new information to the topic.
Original Post (Timothy O’Linn)
Unfortunately, in the 1960s timeframe, I believe none of the key stakeholders, including the police, investigators, adoptive services, child protection, or even the coroner, felt in any way they were performing or carrying out any of their duties unethical. And for most if not all of them, they probably, for all intent purposes, thought they were acting in utmost care in carrying out their assigned duties.
Timeframe or significant time period:
Americans believed in tough love for kids during this tragic loss of life. However, most times, bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes, etc., were often just mitigated by society as those were “accidents.” I would go so far as to say that for the incident time frame, there were few safety concerns for children. Children were never really considered abused, as evidenced by the following quote.
“The mid-60s was just the beginning of awareness of battered child syndrome,” Siegel said in a telephone interview. “The neighbors I talked to about the case were good people. They were still very upset about it 23 years later — what they should have done could have done. (Neutkens, 2015)
In this so-called mid-60’s awareness period there was always an overall sense of children actually being children and most would presume or think these same bumps, bruises, cuts, or scrapes initially identified were ‘accidents’ or being part of a kid for the timeframe. However, the paradigm shifts from that time period into per se into the 80s were more focused on actual children’s safety. Evidence of this shift can be seen in the quote below.
““When the case file reopened in 1987 charging Lois Jurgens with murder, there was no new evidence. “There was no smoking gun piece”” Siegel said. “The difference was this time the medical examiner immediately thought ‘‘child abuse” (Neutkens, 2015)
Jerry Sherwood: A young woman who could not raise a child and gave her child Dennis up for adoption in hopes for a better life for her child. Year later Jerry would have a significant impact in this case when she went looking for her child.
Lois Jurgens had been sentenced to up to 25 years for the 1965 slaying of 3-year-old Dennis Jurgens. And her release only angered the natural mother whose search for her child led to the discovery of the crime”
“May God strike her dead that’s what I have to say to Lois Jurgens, ″ Jerry Sherwood said I prayed for eight years that she’d die in there It’s kind of hard to believe. ″ (Press, 1995)
Lois Jurgen: This was the adoptive mother of Dennis Jurgen. In th1960’s’s she might be considered just a tough disciplinarian parent. Later in the 1980 and beyond and child safety reforms she would be considered a child abuser and, in some instances especially today, she would be considered the lowest possible class of human being.
From the JUSTIA Law website site I” “State v. Jurgens” it chronicles the difference of th1960’s’s children being children and having accidents and the case being opened back up and the actual addressing of murder counts.”
“Appellant Lois Jurgens was indicted on January 30, 1987, for one count of second-degree murder and two counts of third-degree murder. See Minn. Stat. §§ 609.19 and 609.195(2) (1965). The charges arose out of the death of Dennis Jurgens’ adopted son, on April 11, 1965, and the October 1986 change in the death certificate from” “deferred to “homicide” The death certificate, and the coroner’s file *548 generally, were reviewed following inquiries by Dennis Jurgen’s biological mother, Jerry Sherwood.
A follow up in June 1995 on the 6th the headline reads” “SHAKOPEE, Minn. (AP) _ A mother who covered up the beating death of her adopted son for two decades was released from prison today after serving eight years for the crime. (Press, 1995)
Harold Jurgen: This was the adoptive father of Dennis Jurgen. There was no indication he abused Dennis, but there also was no evidence he protected Dennis or tried to stop his wife from mistreating and abusing Dennis.
The following below stakeholder agencies the Ramsey County Adoption Services, Ramsey County Child Protection White Bear Lake Police, Ramsey County Coroner all follow into the definition Amsler provide” “It describes various system designs and processes through which public agencies work together with the private sector, civil society, and the public to identify problems, issues, and potential solutions; design new policy frameworks for addressing them; implement programs; and enforce, police”.” (Amsler, 2016, p. 701)
Ramsey County Adoption Services: A State Agency filling a governance role for placement of children in adoptive homes in Ramsey County.
Ramsey County Child Protection: A state agency filling a governance role for protecting children’s rights in Ramsey County.
White Bear Lake Police: The local police department is part of the governance perspective which coincides with Amsler’s theory in their duty to protect and serve the local community and help investigate this case.
Ramsey County Coroner: The coroner is state appointed governance position whose task was to find improprieties and the cause of death. He noted the zero subcutaneous fat in the body, human bites in the private parts, and wearing multiple diapers at an appropriate age. However, he did not classify this as a murder.
Melinda Elledge: After 22 years she was one of the leads in getting a 22-year-old case opened back up. ”
“The last thing prosecutor Melinda Elledge wanted was to have the case of the murdered 3- year-old boy from White Bear Lake land on her desk. For one thing, the Dennis Jurgens case was 22 years old. Some witnesses were dead or hard to find. Evidence about what his adoptive mother had done to him would be harder to get. “It was horrific”,” Elledge said last week” “I remember first seeing the pictures of his broken little body and just saying ‘”We will get her.” (GURNON, 2015)
Lois Jurgens said Dennis had fallen. Police investigated. “They were eager officer”,” Elledge said” “They were trying to do the right thing.” Even then, an autopsy showed that Dennis died of peritonitis caused by a ruptured bowel. But Lois Jurgens’ brother was the assistant White Bear Lake police chief, and the officers were soon called off the investigation, Elledge said. (GURNON, 2015)
What are the practical lessons you learned about ethics, statesmanship, and public sector governance from this horribly tragic case example?
The ethical issues involved here at the time were not really addressed but when prosecutor Elledge investigated further Lois Jurgen’s brother was the assistant police chief investigating this case. As a deputy police chief how much did he really want to investigate this matter and how much influence did he have in such a small town? The victim Dennis was truly no able at the age of death to articulate anything and that in itself is horrible. Biblically interpreting 1 John 3:7 state” “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (King James Bible, 2022)
As from our previous lesson on statesmanship “Public service is extensively used as a synonym for government service, embracing all those who work in the public zone.” (Shafritz & Hyde, 2016, p. 49) Further in the reading, Anthony Downs argued that some civil servants are motivated by a commitment to a public program because of personal identification with the program.
Herbert Storing state” “High American statesmanship,” has tended to eschew “that kind of statesmanship which had formerly been regarded as its essence: great” “way of life”-setting, character forming political leadership” and is instead characterized b” “an understanding of the principles of governmental structure and operation of the broadest and deepest kin”.” (Baldwin, 2012)
“Covenantal behavior encourages self- sustainability, where people take ownership of organizational goals and processes and truly care for one another. When this happens, companies will find a natural momentum for achieving productivity and excellence.” (Fischer, 2010, p. 67)
Public Sector Governance
In this case personal relationships itself was potentially the problem with case from the start. A key high-ranking police official was in charge of investigating his sister. A high-ranking police official also has some clout with the other governance agencies. The accused would only spend 8 years in prison for this crime. Today’s prison system has notorious·ly been known to have its own set of rules in regard to children and abuse of them. And maybe Lois would not have lasted 8 years and gotten out of prison had this been present day? In the Bible servitude is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 12:8 “Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.” (King James Bible, 2022) In this case all the official servants failed in the welfare of Dennis and the term of imprisonment was very short in my opinion.
Amsler, L. B. (2016, September/October).
Public Administration Review. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from Public Administration Review.
Baldwin, C. E. (2012, April 9).
Franklin’s Classical American Statesmanship. Perspectives on Political Science, 41(2), 67-74. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/10457097.2012.660446
Fischer, K. (2010).
Lesson 8: Structure and Culture. In K. Fischer, & :. https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/gov_fac_pubs (Ed.), A Biblical-Covenantal Perspective on Organizational Behavior & Leadership (pp. 63-70). Lynchburg, Virginia, USA: Liberty University Faculty Publications and Presentations Helms School of Government.
GURNON, E. (2015, Nov 10).
Twin Cities.Com Pioneer Press. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from Twin Cities.Com Pioneer Press: https://www.twincities.com/2011/07/02/melinda-elledge-known-for-her-thoroughness-retires-as-ramsey-county-attorney/
JUSTIA US Law. (1988, May 26).
(J. 2022, Producer) Retrieved July 2022, from JUSTIA US Law: https://law.justia.com/cases/minnesota/court-of-appeals/1988/c3-87-1165.html
King James Bible. (2022).
(©. 2. Online, Producer) Retrieved July 2022, from https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/
Neutkens, D. (2015, Apr 15).
White Bear Press. (D. Neutkens, Editor) Retrieved July 2022, from White Bear Press: https://www.presspubs.com/white_bear/news/a-death-in-white-bear-lake-notorious-crime-in-city-history-marks-50-years/article_1dca2e0e-e2fe-11e4-a17d-6311e99b067e.html
Press, A. (Ed.). (1995, June 6).
Associated Press News. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from AP News: https://apnews.com/article/4d971675ec33098acb6cae3e4e93ed9e
Shafritz, J. M., & Hyde, A. C. (2016).
Classics of Public Administration . In Classics of Public Administration (8th ed., pp. 49, 67-74,). Cengage Learning USA MBS Direct.
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