Court rejects appeal by haredi father who killed infant son
Supreme Court rules six-year sentence ordered in case of Israel Valas, convicted of shaking his three-month-old son to death, stands
Aviad Glickman • Ynet
The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied the sentencing appeal filed by Israel Valas, an ultra-Orthodox man convicted of killing his three-month-old son, and ruled that the original sentence of six years imprisonment stands.
The State's case detailed that Valas, then 19, used to systematically abuse the child, who suffered from a congenital defect in the muscles of his neck. He would slap the infant, bite him and pinch him, eventually shaking him to death because he would not stop crying.
The court stressed in its ruling that Valas never expressed any remorse for his actions. Nevertheless, a relatively short sentence was chosen "since the court considered that this is a young man… who had never shouldered any responsibility other then studying Torah."
The Supreme Court acknowledged that while Valas did not wish to end his son's life, "His actions were careless and reckless… This was a helpless baby who departed from the world in agony as a result of his father's violent and merciless behavior.
"The court must rule harshly in this case not only in order to meet the act, but to deter others."
Attorney Mickey Hova, for Valas, said that the defense still believes the court should have ruled the conviction on of involuntary manslaughter. We will study the ruling further before deciding on our next step."
Valas' brother-in-law, Zvi Eisenstein, told Ynet that "there is no sense in hiring a private layer when the outcome is known. No haredi has even been acquitted by the court. The judges have proven, once more, that they lack the courage to change verdict.
"Personally, I believe that no judge is brave enough. I'm not sure the judges really believed what they wrote. The haredi public resents the fact that the judicial system seems to be stuck."
Valas' arrest and conviction sparked mass haredi riots in the Jerusalem, as his peers repeatedly claimed he was wronged.