Some People Just Won't Take Good Advice
A couple of days ago, I offered some advice to Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco. Specifically, I suggested that he might want to decline prosecuting the Sheboygan mom who stabbed her nephew - after the nephew was caught in the process of sexually assaulting the woman's eight year old daughter (the guy's cousin).
Frankly, I felt that there was little to be gained from a prosecution of the mom. She only seems to be a danger to someone who poses a danger to her child. Moreover, the facts of this case are unique. As such, I really don't think giving the mom a pass on this one would open the door to allow others to engage in "street justice" every time they want to retaliate against someone who "done them wrong".
Beyond this, I just can't imagine a jury convicting this woman of anything - especially once they learn exactly what the creep was in the process of doing with the 8 year old! Therefore given what I believe to be the practical realities of the case, it seems that it would be a waste of taxpayer resources to move forward.
In any event, It's Mr. DeCecco's name on the ballot - not mine - and he's decided to blast ahead. This afternoon, he issued misdemeanor battery charges against the mom. While DeCecco says he won't ask for jail time, mom is looking at up to 15 months in jail if convicted.
From my perspective, if you're not going to incarcerate her - and you're probably not going to fine her too much - why bother prosecuting her in the first place? What does putting her on probation for conduct like this accomplish? That's just me, though.
I think DeCecco is obviously hoping that the mother considers herself lucky to "only" be charged with a misdemeanor and rushes to his doorstep begging to enter a plea of "no contest". If she doesn't, DeCecco has set himself up to (deservedly) be the heavy in a case which is sure to draw national attention. If mom fights the case and wins, DeCecco has also pretty much guaranteed that he'll be beaten like a rented mule if he runs for re-election in 2008. As such, look for DeCecco to do whatever he can to make this go away short of a full blown trial.
It's still disappointing to me that this mother now has to defend herself in the criminal justice system. I realize that justice is blind. I sometimes wonder whether it's also deaf and dumb?