TIME TO GET THE KIDS OUT OF THE CARROLL HOUSE

Date: 1993-08-04
Source: newsbank.com

TIME TO GET THE KIDS OUT OF THE CARROLL HOUSE

August 4, 1993
Dayton Daily News (OH)
       
The wheels of justice can grind too slowly, often with the innocent beneath them.

A horrified community has heard expert and other testimony that raises reasonable doubts about whether the children who died in the Carroll household died accidently. Given that there have been four such deaths in less than a year, you would expect the authorities to find a way to get the remaining children out of that house. Greene County Prosecutor Bill Schenck is now moving to do so.

Yes, Timothy and Kathleen Carroll of Cedarville - the adults - still have rights. But judges and other authorities can take temporary actions based upon reasonable assessments of risks. If the government can take children out of homes quickly when it finds unhealthy conditions, surely it can act in this case.

The authorities are already facing a distrustful public. Earlier, Mr. Schenck agreed to allow the Carrolls to plead guilty to a minor offense in one death, an agreement that is looking dubious now. Other authorities are responsible for loading up this one family with 10 troubled kids and a large income.

The system has given the benefit of the doubt to the Carroll adults.

In a criminal trial, the adult Carrolls - or any other defendants - would have the right to the benefit of reasonable doubt. But a criminal trial is not the immediate issue. What's at hand is a temporary decision about the safety of the remaining children.

For the time being, the benefit of the doubt has to go not to the parents, but to the children.

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