Josh Powell should never have been granted visitation, Coxes argue in hearing

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  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    Feb. 25, 2012 3:49 p.m.


    Suggesting the staff and budget of DCFS would need to be doubled is silly. This is an extreme case, an exceptional example. Most visitations, I'm sure, are relatively low risk, low profile or we would have heard about more disastrous outcomes like this before. I suppose I could have worked into my thoughts that the "muscle" in such RARE high-risk visits could easily be accomplished by a volunteer system if the budget is so tight that DCHS cannot have one or two "jumbo supervisors" on staff/retainer. I would assume that within any community it would be easy to find such volunteers, especially now.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Feb. 24, 2012 8:30 p.m.

    It seems to me the courts were slanted against organized religion, and Josh cunningly led them into beign convinced that the LDS church would be a bad influence on the boys. Pure evil.
    So goes our court system. Unbelievable.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    Feb. 24, 2012 7:45 p.m.

    I hope the State of Washington does change the laws for visitation right and how they are handle and if the Coxes deciece to sue the state that they do get a large sum. I believe that Josh Powell shouldn't of had the visit in his home but in the Child Procetion Sevice Office. That what I have said in other post about this case and the following articles.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Feb. 24, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    You want the SW to cuff the kids to her upon leaving the vehicle so they don't enter the building first? Have you walked in public with 2 kids that age before? All he had to do was lock her in and light a match before she got the cuffs off the kids. If she entered the already doused house first she would have been locked in. If she hesitated at near the door smelling gas she still couldn't prevent the visit, still would still have to wait for law enforcement to come and he would have to be arrested to prevent the visit. In the 3 minutes he could have hacked them all with an ax and still blow up the house. No way she could secure the kids, call the cops and get someone to respond to smell of gas before he could hurt her. The only thing to prevent him from harming anyone was jail.

  • VocalLocal Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 24, 2012 1:08 p.m.

    My heart goes out to the Cox family for their tremendous loss but I don't think Josh Powell should be an example of changing laws. While I am concerned about children being in the presence of unfit parents I am equally concerned about fit parents having their children torn from them. Either one can be tramatic and lead to tragedy. How tragic would it be if the one extreme case of Josh Powell-whose actions have few if any comparisons to other cases-was the precedent that led to dozens or even hundreds of children who love their parents to be forcefully removed from them.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Feb. 24, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    I think we need to be careful to not overreact.
    How much power do we want to give the government in protecting our children?
    And would creating a system where the government raises our children really be a good thing.
    Ask yourself if you have ever done any of the following things; if you have; you could have a court referral filed against you in court.
    Have you ever washed your childâs mouth out with soap?
    Have you ever left your child unattended in a car for any amount of time?
    Have you ever spanked your child with anything but your hand?
    Have you after spanking you child with you hand, left any visible marks?
    Have you ever pulled your childâs hair?
    Have you ever said anything to your child that was unkind?
    Have you kept you child out of school when they are not sick?
    Do you take your child to the doctor every time they are sick?
    Do you take your child to the dentist every six months?

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    I feel terrible for the Cox's....this such a horrific event!

    The problem the Cox's have is that Washington is full of looney lefties who beieve that Josh had all the rights to have access to his children no matter what Josh had done! Utah has some of these same goof balls who believe this same old non-sense about criminal rights......if you break the law, your rights are diminished...Period!

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Feb. 24, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    Jon W.
    Murray, UT
    Cedar City, Utah

    putting aside that we would have to double the staff, and budget of DCFS, to impliment your ideas.
    the percentage of social workers that work in child welfare that would meet your criteria is probably less then 1%, and even then: what is a worker to do if a parent pulls a gun? Should social workers carry guns with them on visits?
    Men social workers might be 10% on the high end. The number of those that also have military training might be 1 or two in the country.
    Social workers tend to not be really violent people; they hate violence.
    Should we hire police to conduct parents visits? The visits would not be very good.
    It seems like you have alot of answers, without a real understanding of the child welfare system. I would suggest you volunteer as a community foster care board review member to find out more.

  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    Feb. 24, 2012 10:17 a.m.

    Jon W

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I argued the exact same thing the minute I heard of this tragedy.

    Supervised visits involving two small children to a father who had just been squeezed into a corner (and they knew they had him squeezed) should have:

    A. Not been conducted by only one person, much less a grandma, no matter how much she had bonded with the kids.
    B. Not allow the children to run ahead first.
    C. The second person should have been large and strong, preferably armed, such as ex-military, a policeman, a rent-a-security, etc. and employed the inspection first, as you point out.

    And, like we learned from 9/11 about the non-sharing of information, how much did Washington really know? Was there a lot of sharing of info, or only bits and pieces from Utah? The second they found the porn cartoons that should have been enough to hold the kids at Grandpa's (or somewhere else) until Powell was examined. Send them to Disneyland; they would not have been forever traumatized by not seeing dad one week until the exam was evaluated.

    May God console the anguish of those who knew better, but didn't push hard enough to keep the children SAFE.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Feb. 24, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    What Washington has shown is a clear disdain for the right thing to do. They are trying to do everything in their power to clearly show that the "law" knows what is best, but they do not take into consideration the magnitude of a grandparent's knowledge, or the child's well-being. This case has shown close-mindedness and a disrespect to children, as a whole. If there are others who have also felt this way, then there needs to be a "top-down" stripping of power, and a revamp of the entire service for children.

  • Jon W. Murray, UT
    Feb. 24, 2012 9:22 a.m.

    I propose a change in visitation procedure in cases where there is doubt as to the fitness of a parent (and there was doubt in this case, hence the visits were supervised). Supervision must be by two workers, at least one of which should be physically capable and trained to restrain the parent. This worker should enter the place of visitation first, assess the situation, and then signal the other worker to enter with the children. Josh Powell could never have perpetrated this horrendous crime if this proposed procedure had been followed.

  • Mamacita3 Albuquerque, NM
    Feb. 24, 2012 7:24 a.m.

    Very sad situation! However, by standing up and voicing their story they are saving a million more children who are in the same situation! If one social worker and judge listens and saves the life of just one child then a miracle will come out of this horrible situation.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 24, 2012 6:27 a.m.

    "Josh Powell should never have been granted visitation, Coxes argue in hearing".


    Yes, but who could have forsaw this?

    Even though he most likely killed his wife, this did surprise me.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Feb. 24, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    The burden of proof is very low in the child welfare system. So low that many have argued for moving family law to the district court system. All child welfare really needs to prove is 51% chance that something has happened.
    Child visitation is critical to the parent-child bond, restriction of visitation is rarely the best thing for kids.
    hindsite is always 20/20.
    What we do not want is an over reaction to this horrible incident.
    Do we really want the government rasing all of our children?
    There are few people, if they were put under the microscope of the child welfare system, would not end up having to explain to a family court judge why they should be allowed to raise their children.
    The truth is many kids are never returned home, and stay in foster care, becuase because no one wants to make a mistake, and be accused of returning a child that is later abused.
    growing up in foster care is not a good thing, it is better to try and work with parents to be able to take their children back.

  • three11stu Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 23, 2012 11:11 p.m.

    Psychosexual evaluations are ordered all of the time in the Child Welfare System. That in no way means that a parent is not fit for VISITATION with his children.
    And every single parent on this planet has some potential for being a threat to their children. Should we prevent ALL parents from being able to see their kids?
    And when somebody is arrested, it is because there is evidence to link them to the crime, therefore, their rights can be restricted. Powell was never arrested because the law lacked the evidence to do so, therefore, his rights could not be restricted.

  • Jhollom Pocatello, ID
    Feb. 23, 2012 10:38 p.m.

    hey 311stu...

    the grandparents are not blaming anyone other than Josh, but situations like this show the problems within our imperfect system of government. The judge obviously thought something was wrong with the man. He ordered a psychosexual exam. That ALONE should have at least placed visitation on hold. If you have ANY INCLINATION that someone may be even an OUTSIDE danger to themselves or anyone around them, you have to call a spade a spade, and I am not even going to use the disappearance of the mother in this at all. Innocent until proven guilty does NOT mean you retain all of your rights. Just ask someone on trial with no bail. Probable cause was more than present in this case, IN SPITE of the lack of evidence. This murder likely would have not occurred had these simple precautions been taken. These cases are not black and white.

  • three11stu Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 23, 2012 8:52 p.m.

    Grandparents should have NO rights to their grandchildren, except in cases where parental rights have been terminated or the parents are deceased. Powell had every right to say that the children not attend LDS services, and should have had every right in every parenting decision made for those children until parental rights were terminated.

  • chubbuckidahocougfan Chubbuck, Idaho
    Feb. 23, 2012 8:50 p.m.

    You can't protect children or others in every possible manner when your dealing with homocidal maniacs like Powell. Josh Powell could have very easily brought a gun into a supervised visit at a location which was not his home (such as the Cox's home or some other place where the visit was taking place) and he could have brought a gun and opened fire on his boys or any others that stood in his way before taking his own life. I could see this scenario playing out if he was given restrictions to where he could see his children. Fact is this: He wanted to kill himself and his children and I don't think it mattered where that was going to be...I think he would have found a way to do it because your dealing with a homicidal maniac!!

  • three11stu Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 23, 2012 8:44 p.m.

    And what if, on the 1% chance that Powell was innocent of killing his wife? You cannot take away his rights as a parent because you BELIEVE that he is guilty. DCFS cannot come into my home and remove my children and prevent me from visits because they BELIEVE that I am not a fit parent.
    When will people like @Sentinel realize that Josh Powell was the sole person to blame for this tragedy? We have laws in place to protect our rights as citizens, and until we can be proven guilty, those rights stay with us, including rights for Josh Powell.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Feb. 23, 2012 8:29 p.m.

    There was no proof of violence. As parent he can guide religious or nonreligious exposure until his rights are terminated. They were lucky the judge placed with grandparents with the stipulation they not involve in LDS activities instead of placing with strangers of no faith.

    I don't doubt he did something awful to his wife. But you must have a confession, witness or physical proof. It is not Child Welfare's fault police didn't have enough evidence in Susan and that the DA could not be successful in pressing charges regarding Susan.

    It's his fault and his dad's. Not everyone else's.

    Bad things happen. Bad things will always happen.

  • Sentinel Ogden, UT
    Feb. 23, 2012 7:58 p.m.

    I hope that the Coxes will file suit against the State of Washington, including against the judge who ordered the children to visit Powell. I also hope the suit will be large, reaching, and heavy. I know it will not bring the Coxes' grandsons back, nor will it alleviate the horrific grief they are forced to endure. Hopefully, though, it will make a statement against what has happened and get the ball rolling for grand changes to be made so that something like this never happens again.