PEOPLE NEED AN EXPLANATION FROM JUDGE ON CARROLL DECISION

Date: 1993-08-07
Source: newsbank.com

PEOPLE NEED AN EXPLANATION FROM JUDGE ON CARROLL DECISION

August 7, 1993
Dayton Daily News
       
Once again, widespread hopes that the Carroll children might be quickly removed from the home in which four of their siblings have died in recent months have been dashed. Visiting Judge Richard Cole, of Clark County, has denied a motion for an emergency order to remove them. He did so in court without publicly offering a rationale.

On the same day, he allowed the juvenile who has been charged in connection with the case to remain free. Speculation holds that this unidentified juvenile lives in the Carroll home. At some point, Greene County's legal authorities are going to have to offer the public some information on these decisions, which seem to contradict common sense.

In one decision Friday, Judge Cole postponed until next Friday a full-scale custody hearing. That seems reasonable enough. A custody hearing is not a simple thing. Lawyers for the Carroll family - that is, the adults - said they hadn't had time to examine the records from the coroner's inquest where questions were raised about whether the Carroll children died of natural causes.

But you would think that a ruling making some temporary changes in the Carroll household - pending the custody hearing - would eliminate the possibility of some new tragedy without trampling awfully on anybody's rights.

Lawyers for the Carroll adults have argued that the children would be safer at home than with public employees. The children need an exceptional amount of experienced care. And some people have vouched passionately for the moral fiber of parents Timothy and Kathleen Carroll.

At least the judicial system is now hearing these arguments. For a week, no action was being taken because the system seemed to be hung up because of a switch of judges. Purposeful inaction is easier to defend than inaction.

But, still, the public needs to hear from the authorities - not from partisan lawyers - what's motivating these decisions. What do the judges know that the public doesn't?

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