A Miscarriage Of Justice
A couple of months before my son Prince was murdered, another little boy was killed just miles away from where Prince died in Manassas, VA. His name was Elijah Nealey. Elijah was only 23 months old when his monster of a babysitter, Jessica Fraraccio, killed him. Fraraccio had been frustrated because Elijah was crying. So frustrated that she pulled a chair out from under him, causing him to hit his head on the table and floor. Elijah cried harder in pain, and Fraraccio carried him around the house upside down, hitting his head on the metal stair rail and other objects. She then covered his mouth and nose with her hand and suffocated him to death.
I have never been subtle about my desire to fight for children’s rights. Little Elijah, sadly, has suffered a miscarriage of justice in addition to his brutal murder. Elijah never lived long enough to celebrate even his second birthday. The 22 year old babysitter who killed him, however, will only serve 5 years in jail. She will likely go on to have children, and if she doesn’t kill them she will have the opportunity to enjoy the many firsts that Elijah’s parents will miss. In a decision that shocks the hell out of me, and likely just about anybody with a soul, Judge J. Howe Brown sentenced Fraraccio to 50 years but suspended 45 and required that she send a check of at least a dollar to a charity of her choosing on the date of Elijah’s death every year after her release. So when the she devil is writing a check for a dollar to the charity of her choosing, Elijah’s parents will have to live with the fact that not only was their son brutally murdered, but that the woman who killed him is allowed to live a full life.
This shocking sentence had me thinking about the value our system puts on the lives of children. Had this woman murdered an adult, I suspect she would have had a longer sentence. What will this judge think when this monster gets into a bar fight and kills someone else, or maybe even goes on to kill another child someday. I didn’t read any part of this sentence that ordered the woman to have her ovaries removed, so I suspect that she will have children and they, too, will cry. Someone who is evil enough to suffocate a child to death because she cannot handle their cry cannot be rehabilitated and should not be let out amongst the general population after serving a mere 5 years. This reckless decision, however, does not appear to be an isolated move. Poor Elijah seems to be yet another victim of our broken system – more evidence that children in our country do not have the right to live.
Virginia is not the only state that is lenient on child abusers. Back in 2007, a Prince George’s County, MD judge sentenced a man to only 18 months in jail after he shook his month old son to death. Both Judge Brown and Judge Ronald D. Schiff cited that harsher sentences wouldn’t bring the children back, as if this fact made giving their killers light sentences make any more sense. It is true that nothing can bring a murdered child back, but there are several reasons for sentencing a child murder to the full extent of the law. (Note: I recognize that the below points don’t take a rocket scientist to recognize, but clearly there are some in our justice system who need a reminder.)
1) Once A Killer, Always A Killer: Someone who is capable of murder has more than just a few screws loose. The two murders I described above were not unfortunate accidents. They were the result of two people who snapped and killed children merely because the children were crying. Now think about this for a moment. Even if these people never went on to take care of another child, would you feel safe even standing next to this person in the grocery store? I sure as hell wouldn’t. A few months in jail is not going to give this person those extra screws they need to be not dangerous! In case you still don’t believe that some time in jail makes these killers remorseful, check out this story. Daron Davis, another one of these child killing monsters, spent 11 years in jail for beating his daughter to death just a month before her first birthday. After he was released, he killed a second daughter.
2) Justice: These children who were murdered by people who should have been caring for them took away lives. Having to spend a short amount of time in prison does not bring justice to the victims, and it certainly doesn’t bring justice to the families of the victims either. How would you feel if someone killed your child, and then a few years later you had to run into them in the grocery store laughing and chatting with their friend about how great their life is? Possibly more insulting might be having to celebrate the birthday of your dead child, and wondering what charity his killer would be sending her one dollar check to that year.
3) The Message: Part of what is important about our criminal justice system is the message sentences send to the community. In the cases I have highlighted here, it seems the message is that the life of a child doesn’t hold as much value as that of an adult. Those who kill children are allowed a second chance at life because we assume that they feel the remorse they should feel after committing such a vile act. (News Flash: A psychopath does not feel remorse. They often know what goes against society norms or is immoral, but they don’t care. These people don’t have souls like the rest of us.)
Finally, these examples can shed an interesting light on what is happening to children in the Family Court system as well. Decisions are made on a daily basis that negatively impact children for the purpose of parental rights. How do we expect that judges are going to hold the best interest of our children in any sort of priority when even those who kill children have their rights respected at the expense of their victims. America is in crisis. We are having what appears to be a war on children. Children are being physically and emotionally abused, and children are being killed. When children are supposed to be seen as the future of a country, I ask you – what is to become of our future when we don’t protect our nation’s children?
Such a miscarriage of justice. If this child was one of “their own”(as the police and those in the legal system like to refer to their families and colleagues), justice would have been much more swift and appropriate. How can we complain about crimes against children in other countries when we are just as guilty.
I pray that your son has better justice than my nephew did. We do not understand the choice this judge made. The district attorney did a wonderful job, even though people think different. In the end it was up to the judge, and I believe no matter what he already had his mind made up. Maybe he should have to look into my nieces eyes and explain his choice to these little girls. Oh wait this is over for him, we get the pleasure of living this over and over again knowing that Elijah’s life is worth nothing to the justice system.
Angela, I am so sorry for your loss. It is my firm belief that my Prince and your Elijah are playing along side each other in heaven. I also think the district attorney on your case is really good. She is the same one who has been assigned to my son’s case. It was certainly not her fault here – this was a bad call made by that judge. In my opinion, she should rot in jail and do hard labor. The money she makes from her hard labor should go straight to a college fund for Elijah’s sister’s. The fact that he wants her to donate a dollar to a charity of her choice is appalling. What happens if she chooses to donate her money to help the defense of criminals like herself? That would count right? Please send my condolences to Elijah’s parents and let them know that they can feel free to reach out to me if they would like to.
My Dear Ms. Cappy… I have the highest respect for you and have had since reading the first post. Even so I have one hell of a time reading many of your posts because I feel such rage. This was one of those posts that I was shaking as I read and wanted to scream. ONE DOLLAR ??? As much rage as I feel toward these killers I think I feel even more toward the judges and juries that allow these monsters to life after they have taken the life of an innocent child. Never proven that she killed, but I will always believe C. Anthony murdered her little girl. That John Skelton murdered his three little boys. We know Josh Powell murdered his two sons… The monster who killed little Zahra Baker and then hacked up her body … Brianna Lopez, murdered by her Father and Uncle after the raped her… she was five months old.. The list goes on and on, and it seems our judicial system simply doesn’t care, or cannot be bothered with justice.
I am so angry that children have no rights.
I am furious every time I read about a child dying at the hands of a parent or whom ever and the charges are CHILD NEGLECT, CHILD ENDANGERMENT, or some other equally stupid charge… As you said, kill an adult, and it is MURDER. WHY, is not MURDER when a child’s life is taken? If you and I have a confrontation and one or the other feels her life is in danger we have the ability to walk away… fight back.. scream for help… A child has no means of self protection. Yes, the system is broken… but in my opinion, CHILDREN’S RIGHTS have NEVER EVER existed to begin with. A whole set of laws and a judicial system needs to be created FOR children. Only Judges who value the lives of children should ever be allowed to preside over cases where children are concerned.
WHAT will it take for our judicial system to be re created dividing Child victims from adult victims?
I am a strong believer in that when an adult takes the life of a child with intent, with malice, that person should pay with his or her own life. No, it won’t bring back the child, but it will sure prevent the killer from ever killing another child.
I also am a strong believer in the most severe punishment being handed down to those who sexually abuse a child as well.
I’m sorry for rambling… I just get so upset over the indifference of the judicial systems ignorance of the needs and protection of children.
ANY murderer should be executed.This wasn’t an ‘accident’ but a choice.My son was murdered 7 yrs. ago in WV & his murderer got life without parole but will get all the freebies in prison.THAT is not ‘punishment’.
I am sorry for your loss Sue.
Thank you. I too think they are up there tearing apart heaven and making angels chase them down! I will pass your message on to my brother and sister in law.
haha, yes they are certainly tearing things up. I can certainly see Prince making others chase him down. He always loved running in the opposite direction. 🙂 Both of them were taken from us too soon, but I guess God needed them back.
This is horrible! My husband and I are sending this to Bill O’Reilly. I have a feeling he would be interested and certainly speak out to his viewers concerning this injustice!
Susanne, it would be great if there was public outcry about this decision and more attention. It makes me furious when I read about what this judge decided. I just cannot believe that someone can be convicted of murdering an innocent child, yet still be allowed to rejoin society as if nothing happened.
Angela and I were close friends in high school and keep in touch on Facebook too! This whole thing is killing me! I just can’t come to terms with 5 years and I didn’t even know the judge told her to give money, even if it’s just a dollar to a charity. A judge said that! Is it a joke? $1. Come on! That is degrading to the Nealy family. I am so sorry for this loss! I am a mom of boys and I am so sad Mike and his wife do not get to watch their little boy grow up! You better believe he’s looking down and keeping a good eye on his sisters! This is so unfair! I am also sorry for the loss of Prince! I can’t imagine your pain. You all are in my thoughts and prayers! I pray that justice is truly served for Prince and your family!
Hi again, as always love to you and your children.
I live in the UK and our justice system is equally futile. Just recently a male was sentenced to 6yrs in prison for shaking his 16 week old baby to death. He will serve 3 of those 6 years, because inexplicably, all sentences are immediately halved over here. (the judge said this person would have to live with what he had done) so I am guessing the judge felt the perpetrators “guilt” would be punishment enough!! Justice for the life of this child wasn’t even mentioned, so again, the rights of the child means nothing.
It seems to be a global phenomenon, even in a “highly evolved” society such as ours, children’s rights are ignored. I have wondered and wondered about this
I didn’t mean to send so soon, as I was saying I don’t know why child abuse isn’t taken seriously around the world, everyone seems sickened by these crimes, yet the perpetrators receive scant punishment.
I hope things change.
Sign the petition to fire the judge
The judges don’t see that babies are supposed to be protected and taken care of, instead of harmed and killed? The judges clearly don’t understand the suffering of mothers who have their babies killed.
The judges also surprisingly underestimate the craziness of these monsters.
Are they real judges?
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