A Michigan jury found Jennifer Crumbley guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Tuesday after her son, Ethan Crumbley shot four students to death at Oxford High School in 2021. It is the first case of its kind where a parent has been held criminally responsible for the actions of a school shooter.
Reactions among the public are mixed. Some see the decision as a win that will scare parents into doing more to keep their children from hurting others. Others think the decision is a scary precedent that will haunt America for a long time and allow politically motivated prosecutors to go after anyone they want for the actions of others.
The state had a high burden to prove that Crumbley was guilty of involuntary manslaughter, which it did not seem to meet. One of the elements was that Mrs. Crumbley had to have knowledge that her son was dangerous, which the state’s evidence did not show. There was plenty of reasonable doubt surrounding what the parents knew and when they knew it.
But the defense attorney, Shannon Smith, spent no time in her closing arguments explaining the legal burden and all her time appealing to the jury’s emotions and common sense. This may have been a mistake.
Instead of showing the jury that the state had a job to do and failed to show the required elements of the charges, Smith tried to explain the repercussions for other parents that would happen if the jury found the defendant guilty. She wasn’t wrong, but her arguments felt incomplete, and the jury ultimately sided with the prosecution who told them they could convict despite very thin evidence.
“Lawtubers” on YouTube who covered the case seem to agree that the decision was a bad one that will have far-reaching consequences. Joe Nierman at Good Lawgic called the decision “pathetic.”
“You just made America a crappier place!” said Nierman after the verdict. “Way to go!”
“A mob can basically rise up and say we’re going to pass judgment on whoever it is that is associated with, related to, or has anything to do with this…and punish someone simply because they are associated with [a criminal],” he started incredulously. “This was so ridiculously impossible for any parent to be able to predict. The school couldn’t predict, that nobody could predict, and yet for one reason or another this jury says, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, this woman should have been Nostradamus and known that her kid is a maniac!’”
Crumbley is facing 15 years in prison for each count after this verdict.
“This is not about Jennifer Crumbley,” continued Neirman. “This is about holding someone to a yardstick that is now incumbent on you as a parent. You are now being held responsible. Why? Because they’re gun owners.”
Nierman also pointed out an obvious double standard when it comes to holding parents accountable for the crimes of youth.
“Let’s not skirt around the issue here,” he continued. “If Jennifer Crumbley was black there’s no way she would have been charged. And we know this because there are countless gangbangers out there running around and are not stopped or prevented by their parents and none of these parents are charged. But if you are a white gun owner…the crosshairs are on you.”
Niklas Starow at Trial Watch tweeted:“It’s because it’s a school shooting,” said Andrew Branca from Law of Self Defense appearing on Making Law Simple Network. “It’s not going to be enforced generally, I mean what are they going to do? Go after all the single African American mothers in Detroit when their kids are shooting each other?”
MGLaw responded, “They wouldn’t have brought the charges if it had happened in a mall.”
“Or not just a mall, a drug house!” replied Ian Runkle of Runkle of the Bailey, a Canadian gun rights attorney.
As for Crumbley’s chance for appeal, attorney Sean Martin at Potentially Criminal said, “No judge is going to overturn this. They want to get reelected. If they overturn this they’re never getting elected again.” He continued, “No system of accountability works when the public can influence it.”
PJ Media reached out to Runkle for comment on the verdict. “The principle established by the win in the Jennifer Crumbley case starts with her, but it will continue for other parents whose behavior with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight was imperfect,” he said. “This opens the door for the state to pursue the parents of teens who drive drunk or join gangs. As the perfect parent does not exist, it raises the possibility that choosing to have a child may eventually mean time behind bars.”
Attorney David Helm of Making Law Simple Network told PJ Media, “We have a situation where the state through its witnesses twice and in its closing arguments twice said that nobody saw this coming. But yet we are going to hold this parent responsible. This is ‘Minority Report’ level policing of the populous.”
He continued criticizing what some see as an activist jury. “I believe the jury on Jennifer Crumbley’s case was acting on emotion and not reason,” he said. “This is a big, scary case involving a school shooting. But put the same parent on trial where her son did something less sensational, would you have the same outcome? If you say not necessarily, then this is clearly an emotional decision and one that has far-reaching consequences.”
Jennifer Crumbley will face sentencing in April while James Crumbley, the shooter’s father, is set to stand trial for the same charges in March.
Whereas parents are to some extent responsible for their kids behavior in no way are parents totally responsible for that behavior. Particularly by the time they are teens kids are separating themselves from their parents and identifying with their peers group which has an increasingly strong influence on kids. As they get older parental influence wanes, especially if parents are working and are not present to supervise their kids.
In a society like ours, in which marriage, family and parental authority have been systematically undermined for decades it can hardly be a surprise when kids go off the rails without parental consent or even knowledge. The elephant in the room is the role of the schools. Controlled by the Cult of Woke the schools have consistently and covertly undermined parental authority and indoctrinated kids with their insanity. We have seen that when parents became aware (the one good thing that came out of the Wuflu lockdowns is that parents were able to see first hand what the schools were doing) of what their kids were being taught they erupted in outrage in defense of their children’s welfare, and got called domestic terrorists for their trouble. I notice that nobody is examining that. But there’s worse.
This ruling will give wings to the Woke Cult’s push to abolish parental rights. “Parents,” the line will go, “are not capable of raising non-violent kids. That’s why the State must intervene. That’s why the kids must not belong to their parents but to us.” These Socialist monsters regard the nuclear family as the source of Capitalist indoctrination and an impediment to the creation of a Socialist society which they intend to remove by any means necessary.
150,000,000 dead in the 20th Century was not enough. They intend to top that in order to impose their demonic cult on the world, starting in the USA.