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Did justice system fail?
January 4, 2011 - Jim Smith
Did the justice system fail, leading to a Clark County, Ohio, deputy sheriff being killed and township officer being wounded in a shootout that was the second time in a decade the killer had opened fire on law enforcement?
Michael Ferryman, 57, killed a deputy investigating reports of shots being fired near Ferryman's mobile home last weekend. A German Township officer was wounded in the ensuing shootout with Ferryman before authorities fatally shot Ferryman as he fired from his mobile home.
As sad as the tragic shootings are, the real question is should Ferryman have been permitted to be free after a Sept. 5-6, 2001, shootout and subsequent standoff with Morgan County, Ohio, authorities following his shooting at people as they took firewood from a public firewood pile at an American Electric Power campground of Ohio 83 north of McConnelsville. Ferryman reportedly fired 16 shots at officers who surrounded his camper.
Ferryman and the woman with him eventually surrendered to authorities and in 2003 he was found not guilty of felonious assault on police officers by reason of insanity.
He was granted a conditional release in 2005 from a southeastern Ohio mental facility and evaluated again in 2008 by another facility in western Ohio to determine if he was still mentally ill and if the conditional release was appropriate.
The question is, what were the results of that evaluation? Did that evaluation support his remaining free? If so, why? As the turn of events now confirms, Ferryman was a danger to himself and others, especially law enforcement and authority figures, judging from his past history.
Did the justice system fail the fatally shot deputy and her family? Yes and it will fail again if it doesn't become more hardcore in melting out justice.
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