Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2 similar cases, 2 different results

When I heard the verdict yesterday in the case of the Bucks County day-care owner who had inadvertently left a young child in the car, it was like a flashback.

Rimma Shvartsman was acquitted of all the charges filed against her for leaving the 2-year-old boy in the sweltering car. She had been charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.

“We feel relief at the jury’s verdict, but other than that, our sorrow and remorse is relentless,” said Michael Mustokoff, Shvartsman’s attorney.

I think Edward Kanterman knows exactly how she feels.

Kanterman is the Delaware County grandfather who basically did precisely the same thing Shvartsman was charged with, with the same tragic results.

He had put his 14-month-old grandson – his first and only grandson – in a child seat is his car to drive him to his day care center, located in the same shopping center where he worked.

But when he arrived, Kanterman instead rushed into work, forgetting the child in the back seat. That June day the temperature soared into the high 90s. When Kanterman returned to his car at lunch, he was horrified to find the boy still inside.

Kanterman did not go to trial. He entered a “no contest” plea to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He indicated he did not want his daughter to have to go through the ordeal of a trial. She said she forgave her father.

How his case differs from Shvartsman, aside from the fact that in the Kanterman case it was his grandson, while in the Bucks County case it was a neighbor’s child, I do not know.

Different cases, almost exactly the same kind of horrific details, and very different outcomes.

With one common theme. Unbearable sadness.


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