Nasty, Brutish & Short

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The woman who forgot her child in the car...

September 5, 2007 08:10 AM

...will not face criminal charges.  The Clermont County Prosectutor took two weeks to arrive at a decision that was perfectly obvious from the beginning: She did not have the requisite mental state, and thus committed no crime.  Horrible accidents happen.

Already, people are screaming racism.  Take it away, Chris Smitherman

"Here today, we have a white woman down in Clermont County who killed her daughter, clearly endangerment of a child and we have the prosecutors saying not one charge will be levied against this woman," said Smitherman.

"And, at the same time, we have a an African-American woman in Avondale who's locked up right now for leaving her children in the closet," said Smitherman. "We have a prosecutor saying he's going to lock her up for 100 years."

Is it possible that he does not see the difference between these two cases?  Does he understand "intent" at all?  Or is creating racial discord all part of his plan?

I will say though, that Nate Livingston over at the Cincinnati Black Blog is right about one thing: It is ridiculous that Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby's attorney is a Clermont County Commissioner.  Talk about creating an appearance of impropriety!  I'm mortified that a county commissioner is acting as a criminal defense lawyer in any case pending in his county's courts, much less this one.  It's almost as bad as Butler County, where you have Judges who operate as criminal defense attorneys.

Update: Wow, it's even generated allegations of sexism.  Still unexplained?  Why someone should be charged with a crime just because a man would be, or because an ethnic minority would be (even assuming that is true, and I don't believe it is).  If that were happening, the right thing to do would be to stop charging similarly situted men or minorities with these kinds of crimes--instead of just charging this poor women because others have not been.  But apparently cries for guillotine justice aren't limited by the two wrongs don't make a right concept. 


Smitherman is a bush league Al Sharpton

Anonymous   ·  September 5, 2007 10:25 AM

Would you expect anything else from Smitherman? He lacks the intellectual capacity to understand the difference in the two cases.

English teacher   ·  September 5, 2007 12:47 PM

How stupid is Chris Smitherman? Remember way back oh a year ago when Marcus was left on a closet and the Clermont County prosecutor came down like a ton of bricks on his WHITE foster parents? Remember that?

smeartherman   ·  September 5, 2007 03:19 PM

If I can interrupt all the back-patting for a moment...

Intent isn't always necessary to file criminal charges. What about involuntary manslaughter, when someone is killed in a moment of pique, or vehicular homicide?

Because the perp didn't mean to kill someone when going behind the wheel, does that mean that person should get off?

Interested Observer   ·  September 6, 2007 10:38 AM

Interested observer--
You still have to prove recklessness in those cases, and that is a legal term of art that does NOT mean forgetfulness.

Nasty, Brutish and Short   ·  September 6, 2007 12:48 PM

It doesn't even have to rise to the level of recklessness. Negligence is also an option. I'd say leaving your kid to bake for 8 hours at least qualifies as negligence (unless you're white, rich enough, and live in Clermont County)

CincyJeff   ·  September 7, 2007 01:11 AM

In 2000, this same Prosecutor charged a man with Child Endangering and Involuntary Manslaughter for the death of their kid, who was left in car for 1 hour with one of the windows slightly cracked.

Maybe he should have just left them in the car for 8 hours to make sure the kid was dead, and cry extensively during the interrogations and he could have gotten off clean. It also would have helped if he wasn't a poor guy living in a trailer rather than an affluent woman who can afford to hire a County Commissioner to defend her. Sorry, but Nate and Smitherman are right on this one.

CincyJeff   ·  September 8, 2007 01:43 PM