judge should not be retained
When a judge refuses to allow the prosecution
of a person who has killed a man thus creating
a widow and an orphan, s/he does not deserve
to be retained in office. Such is the case with
Polk County District Judge Carolyn Egly. She
refused to allow any formal adult charges or
litigation against a 17-year-old girl, Esther
Chisala, who struck and killed a motorcyclist
and tried to run away. She was driving without
a license and fleeing a previous accident at
a high rate of speed.
On Aug. 6, 2008, Esther Chisala, two weeks shy
of her 18th birthday, rear-ended a van belonging
to Iowa Homeless Youth Services on Martin Luther
King Boulevard. She ran away from this accident
and proceeded south on Martin Luther King Boulevard
at a high rate of speed. At University Avenue,
motorcyclist James Miller, 46, a husband and
father, had a green light to cross MLK Boulevard.
Chisala hit his motorcycle so hard that, according
to a witness, her car passed under the flying
body of the victim who landed hard on the pavement.
He did not make it to the hospital alive. Chisala
was involved in a third accident when she hit
a utility pole. Only witnesses prevented her
from fleeing on foot.
When someone dies, somebody should have to pay.
Judge Carolyn Egly didn’t think so. The widow
and orphan got no justice. Much was made of
what a fine church-going young lady Chisala
was. Judge Egly refused to prosecute her in
adult court saying that the county attorney
did not prove that “there are no reasonable
prospects for rehabilitation in juvenile court.”
Excuse me, Judge Egly! Somebody needlessly died
here, and you think the perpetrator should go
free without even a slap on the wrist?
In September 2008, in my hometown of Carroll,
a man was arrested for killing a kitten. He
was accused of “inflicting severe physical pain
and death.” But Judge Egly chose not to impose
any punishment when a human being died in Polk
County. Recently, an Urbandale man was arrested
for allowing his dog to die in the heat. Several
thousand people signed a petition to County
Attorney James Sarcone asking for the maximum
punishment. Yet, when a man dies needlessly
on a public street — the victim of a reckless
youth — nobody cares, not even Judge Carolyn
Vote not to retain Judge Carolyn Egly on Nov.
West Des Moines
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