I have been busy and haven’t gotten to update the blog regarding Justin Harris, the man charged with murder for allegedly intentionally leaving his child in a car, who then died from the heat. The facts that have been released so far sound damning: apparently Harris did searches on his computer related to dying from heat, he ignored calls from the child’s day care, and he was sexting with women other than his wife on the day of the incident. He also had life insurance on the child that he is now seeking to collect. However, for as terrible as the facts sound so far, the case is far from proven. Attorney Mark O’Mara, who impressively defended George Zimmerman, filed an Op Ed encouraging people to reserve their judgment. Give it a read, O’Mara is frequently a well-spoken voice of resrevation. http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/01/opinion/omara-hot-car-dad-harris/index.html
Negligence happens, and unless malice or intent can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the case is substantially different. Just recently in Southwest Florida, Melissa Smith was acquitted of Aggravated Manslaughter when the jury did not find that her negligence rose to that level of criminality. She was found guilty of a lesser charge of Child Neglect and three counts of Culpable Negligence. She was sentenced to eight months in jail and 5 years of probation.