The other day, Clark County Sheriff Bill Young had the courage to personally announce that Metro was not going to charge Veronica Schmidt with a felony for losing control of her vehicle and killing four people at a bus stop.
The next thing we heard about that was Channel 8 allowing the mother of two of the kids who were killed to squeal on the air that justice has not been served and by gosh we need to do something about this. Change the law.
Well, as badly as we feel for the families of the people who were killed, Channel 8’s reporter left two things out of the equation.
First, three of the four people who were at that bus stop were truant from their high school. They were there because they were cutting class. That certainly doesn’t justify their deaths, but it is a fact nonetheless.
Second, sometimes an accident is just an accident and we can’t criminalize everything which has an unpleasant ending for somebody.
For instance, we suspect the aggrieved mother would probably really resent being arrested because here kids were truant. But in some states, that is the law.
We don’t really know what happened that morning which caused Schmidt to lose control of her vehicle.
But we do know that Metro has impressive investigatory resources in a situation like this and every incentive to charge Schmidt.
If Young’s people can’t find a reason to seek felony charges, chances are it was an accident and changing a law to criminalize accidents is one of those areas in which you should be careful what you wish for because the worst thing which could happen is that you just might get what you want.
Sometimes an accident is just and accident and sometimes life just isn’t fair.
And one thing is certain. If three of those people killed had been in class where they were supposed to be they would still be alive today.
We suspect that Schmidt is not blameless in this situation. But when a parent whose kids were where they weren’t supposed to be in the first place starts pointing fingers at a driver who lost control of her vehicle, it looks suspiciously like blame shifting.
And just because the media is inclined to go along doesn’t make it right.
On another subject…
We cannot ever remember agreeing with Jesse Jackson on anything but we admire his position on the Terri Schiavo case.
It is far more courageous then the position taken by Florida Judge George Greer and makes us believe that there is hope that maybe, just maybe, there is some common ground between liberals and conservatives.
Jackson came to the aid of Terri’s parents in their fight to prevent her judicial homicide and to his probable political detriment.
He too sees this not necessarily as a political or legal issue but as the moral issue it is.
Simply put, we just don’t starve and dehydrate a person to death—except in Judge Greer’s court.
Having been in this business for 40—yes 40—years, we have developed an acute sense of smell. And Schiavo’s husband’s desire to see her dead just doesn’t pass that smell test.
You can take all of the legal, medical or constitutional positions you want. None of them make any sense when one party wants the other dead so badly.
As we said last week.
It appears that Michael Schiavo, with the help of Judge Greer, is going to get away with what Scott Peterson got the death penalty for.
If Jesse Jackson can help head that off, God Bless him.
If he can’t, at least he showed that he is driven by conscience as opposed to political doctrine.
And we’ll never look at him the same way again.