Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Things To Watch For In Ashanti Hamilton Case

Unless you live in a cave, or drink excessive amounts of tea, you are already aware that City Alderman Ashanti Hamilton has been charged with felony child abuse. He is accused of hitting his daughter with a hanger so many times that the hanger broke and the girl was left with welts, bruises and bleeding.

Needless to say, if these allegations are true, he really has some serious issues that previous treatments did not help with, and he should be held accountable and given the appropriate sentence for such brutality.

But I am concerned on whether it will get that far.

In my time in child welfare, I've seen too many cases in which the children were subjected to such abuse, and often worse than that. The offending parent or parents would get charged in criminal court and the children were removed from the home and legal proceedings in children's court would begin, in order to get an order to keep the children out of the parent's home.

All too often, I would find out that the criminal charges were dropped if the parent would stipulate to the children's court's order for placement in alternative care. In other words, the parents would basically get off without even a slap on the wrist for abusing their children.

I will admit that I am not familiar with all the details of the Hamilton case, and I don't know if the children live with their mother or their father, who are divorced and have joint custody. But I am afraid that this case will follow previous practice and he will be able to plea bargain his way out of it by agreeing to either a family court or a children's court order.

Then again, with this being a higher profile case, there is hope that the courts will feel compelled to hold him accountable, if he is indeed found guilty after a fair trial.

No comments:

Post a Comment