Here is one of the most amazing newspaper lead paragraphs I’ve ever read in my life:

“The investigation into the death of a baby who authorities believe was heated in a microwave oven was difficult because of a lack of research on the effect of microwaves on people, a coroner’s official said.”

The alleged perp, by the way, is the baby’s own mother. Here’s the story, from Dayton, Ohio:

“China Arnold, 26, was jailed Monday on a charge of aggravated murder, more than a year after she brought her dead month-old baby to a hospital on Aug. 30, 2005, police said.

“We have reason to believe, and we have some forensic evidence that is consistent with our belief, that a microwave oven was used in this death,” said Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County coroner’s office.

“He said the evidence included high-heat internal injuries and the absence of external burn marks on the baby, Paris Talley….

“The death was ruled a homicide caused by hyperthermia, or high body temperature. The lack of external burns ruled out an open flame, scalding water, heating pad or other possible cause of death that would have damaged the skin, Betz said”

A quick science lesson: your microwave oven cooks your food by moving its water molecules back and forth at the rate of 2.5 billion times a second–which is why it can bake a potato in 10 minutes. The human body is 98 percent water.

What’s shocking about this story isn’t so much the alleged crime–which staggers the mind in its ghastly cruelty–but the fact that if history is any precedent, China Arnold, if convicted, will be out on the streets (and possibly cooking another baby) in just a couple of years. Tammy Bruce reports this, from the same story:

“In 2000, a woman [in Virginia] who microwaved her baby to death was sentenced to five years in prison for the horrific act. That’s it. That extraordinary news, however, is buried in another story of a woman who, back in August, allegedly did the same thing. In this age of the death of right and wrong, what do you think she’ll get? How about picking up trash on the side of the freeway.

“If this were the United States of Tammy, I would have killers executed in the same manner in which they killed their victim(s). And yes, I’d have us spend the money to construct a microwave big enough to contain this freak.”

Tammy asks:

“What, possibly, could be the extenuating circumstances allowing such a non-punishment for such a horrific crime? Honestly, what are we becoming?

“The result of the Ohio case will tell us if things have gotten better or worse when it comes to justice and women who murder their children.”