The loss of any child’s life is a unspeakable tragedy that no parent or family can easily shoulder or recover from. Imagine the horror of losing 9 children in a deliberately set house fire and having the agony of watching the murderer not receive the death penalty. This happened in Cleveland on Friday. It has to feel as if justice in that federal courtroom had been reduced to literal legal assassination of justice.
This is exactly what occurred on Friday in that federal courtroom in Cleveland. The murderer Autun Lewis was convicted of setting a house fire which obliterated the lives of nine innocent children in 2005, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. For the families which had to sit through not one but two trials, it had to feel as if the dignity and justice for their children was shredded once again.
Lewis had been convicted before in 2011 of the arson murders, but U.S. Federal Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. threw out the conviction because he considered some of the witnesses for the prosecution unreliable, said the Plain Dealer.
But it is not just the tragedy that befell the families of the young children that is truly most heinous. It is the very system of justice that would allow a convicted murderer to skate away from a date with the electric chair for murdering children so heartlessly that is a problem. This should be a capital crime with an automatic date with the executioner upon conviction when the murders of children are involved.
It could not be more horrific to imagine how a wonderfully delightful birthday sleepover for children who ranged between seven and fifteen could end so horribly in a blaze of fire. The jury which convicted Autun Lewis convicted him of breaking into the home and lighting fire to gasoline, according to Fox News.
The city of Cleveland and the survivors of the children and 33-year-old Medeia Carter who also died in the fire will have to put this dark milestone from May 21, 2005 past them.
No one in the courtroom or on the jury will ever be able to fathom what would motivate a person to murder sleeping children by any means. It is therefore incumbent upon the Ohio legislature to pass legislation which makes this type of crime automatic death for anyone convicted. That would truly be real justice for the families of the victims of the worst house fire in Cleveland’s history.
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