24 September, 2006

Judge Gaul Says Unwed Mothers Root of All Cleveland Ills

This is an article from Friday's paper. The news video of the judge dogging this woman played on Thursday night. I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing. I searched for the video link, but couldn't find it. So, first the article,and then the commentary.

Cleveland mom gets prison for slicing ear of her infant
Friday, September 22, 2006
James F. McCarty Plain Dealer Reporter

A judge sentenced Tonya Edwards to four years in prison Thursday for slicing the ear of her young son.
Edwards, 35, of Cleveland, pleaded guilty to felonious assault at a hearing in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
She initially denied cutting the ear of Micah Belcher Jr., who was 10 months old at the time of the June incident. But after being pressed by Judge Daniel Gaul, she confessed to the crime.

She said she was arguing with the boy's father when she snatched the child away from him and ran into the kitchen. Then, she cut her son.
"I slashed him . . . I don't know [why]," she said. "I wasn't trying to cut his ear off. I might have been trying to cut his father."
Doctors used 15 stitches to repair the boy's ear.
Gaul criticized Edwards for giving birth to nine children with six different fathers - none of whom was her husband. She has four convictions for drug abuse.
Children and Family Services took custody of Micah and all her other children because of neglect and abuse.
"Tonya Edwards is the poster child for unwed mothers and irresponsible parents," Gaul said. "I pray that you don't have any more children."
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
jmccarty@plaind.com, 216-999-4153


I wonder if Judge Daniel Gaul has any idea how many single mothers vote. It's amazing how everyone gets lumped into the same category for the sanctimonious to sit on their soap boxes. How many men have been asked how many children they have fathered, by how many women, and if they are financially responsible for them? I would bet that Gaul has never had the gall to ask even one. But, he surely could not help but grandstand when faced with a woman with a history of drug abuse.
Surely, his judgment is better than to believe that this woman is the reason Cleveland is the poorest city in the nation. To my recollection, there has never been an unwed mother to head the Board of Education, nor be Mayor of our down-trodden town. Clearly, Cleveland is ill-prepared to compete with the rest of the nation, let alone prepared to be a part of a global market; but does that burden really rest on the poor? I would suggest that it is not the poor who are the problem, but a symptom, or side effect, if you will, of a much larger problem. It takes a village to succeed or to fail.
Anyone who abuses or neglects children should have their parental rights severed. Drug abusers need assistance, and that right to assistance should not ever override the well-being of the children. The punishment should fit the crime, but clearly this woman has enough on her shoulders without the added burden of being the sole reason for the failure of this city.
There are thousands of unwed mothers who work hard, love their children, and are law abiding citizens. Most of these women will never see the inside of a criminal court room. Clearly, the problem with the city will have to be found without the use of classism, sexism, and racism.

The link will take you to a video of Judge Gaul in action. http://www.newsnet5.com/news/9905115/detail.html#

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