Jewish World Review Feb. 21, 2005 / 12 Adar I, 5765

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Consumer Reports

Destiny in America | Destiny Ashe was an American citizen for just five weeks before her mother savagely beat her to death in Atlanta. The baby died in December of 1998, but the woman who killed her, Carisa Ashe, was not arrested and the case was "dead docketed"  —  that is, put aside  —  for two years.

Finally, Fulton Country District Attorney, Paul Howard, took Destiny's case off the shelf and charged Carisa Ashe with murder. Again, she was not arrested, nor was she incarcerated. Ashe simply walked around free, doing what she had done her entire adult life: getting pregnant.

Incredibly, after killing Destiny, Ashe managed to give birth to two more children, bringing the total number she has to eight. Authorities say multiple men fathered the children, but will not say how many men. Ashe is not married, nor does she have much support for the kids.

Of the seven remaining children, one is missing (authorities believe she ran away but don't know for sure), four are in foster care, and two are being raised by Ashe's mother. There is no question that Carisa Ashe is a grossly irresponsible human being who has killed one baby and put seven other children at risk.

But the Fulton County authorities don't seem to care much about that. They obviously took their sweet time getting around to dealing with Carisa Ashe. It was almost six years before DA Howard finally approached Judge Rowland Barnes with his solution to the case: Ashe would avoid jail time if she agreed to undergo a tubal ligation  —  become sterilized.

Carisa Ashe, facing twenty years in prison, jumped at the offer, and the deal was sealed. So now we have a dead baby in the ground, while her killer continues walking around, living free. By the way, the taxpayers of Georgia will pay for Ashe's sterilization operation.

Let me ask you a few questions. If this had been a white baby born to an affluent mother, do you think Howard, who is black, would have cut this deal? And what if Carisa Ashe had brutally murdered a ten-year-old girl? Would the woman have avoided jail time? So what's the difference between a baby and a ten-year-old?

The harsh truth is that America doesn't care about babies like Destiny; few are looking out for them. DA Howard couldn't care less; the case was a nuisance to him. Jesse Jackson and the other race hustlers are invisible because there's no money in the situation, and a black man, Howard, is the villain.

White America is not engaged, and one of the reasons is because the national news operations have ignored Destiny's case. Why bother with a poor murdered baby when Michael Jackson might get sent to prison for child molestation? There's no money in Destiny Ashe for the media, but plenty of bucks in the Jackson exposition.

The sad and brutal plight of Destiny Ashe spotlights the dark side of America. This is truly racism and classism at its worst. Carisa Ashe is allowed to murder her baby and pay a minimal price six years after the fact. That's justice?

Societies are judged by how they treat their most defenseless citizens. Destiny Ashe was denied life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and a powerful District Attorney let it happen. No one can justify this. There once was Destiny in America, but no longer. This terrible situation taints us all.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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