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Letter: Indiana's judicial system failure, needs overhaul

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Daily Journal.

Ed Woods


To the editor:

It was very interesting to read in the Dec. 29-30 edition the article about Robert Crim’s efforts to enhance the safety of children regarding their unsupervised visits with their parents, who might have questionable mental issues.

Then we saw your scorecard Jan. 1 ranking the stories the Journal had covered through 2012. In the No. 3 ranking was the death of 3-year-old Jacob Smith, whose mother Amanda Smith was charged with murder.

She and Robert Crim are the parents of Jacob. When you stop and think about the background to Jacob’s murder we’re overlooking or forgetting the root cause of this murder. The state had appointed Jacob’s maternal grandmother as his guardian. The grandmother was supposed to be in charge without allowing unsupervised visits by either Jacob’s mother and father.

Why did the state make that type of guardianship? Why did a county circuit judge authorize an unsupervised (overnight) for Jacob with his mother at her home?

What’s amazing is that neither the judge nor his staff conducted any independent investigation of either parent.

We’ve noticed some stories appearing where the mentally ill are beginning to be looked after more thoroughly than in prior years.

Another area that needs a complete overhaul is the system where the state bar association has too much influence in what attorneys file to be elected to a judge position.

That system is a complete failure, needs to be stopped and replaced with a plan that encourages more candidates for judge and a better grade of candidates overall.

What we have today is a joke and it’s not very funny. In the case of Jacob, it’s my opinion that pressure was put upon the circuit judge to pave the path. There are better systems. Look at some of the neighboring states.

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