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OPINION - Why is she free?

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Why is she free?

A judge allowed Ashley Baumann to be released from jail while awaiting sentencing. She was convicted last month of killing two of her friends. They were passengers in her car while she was driving drunk. She could get up to 25-years when shes sentenced in August. There is no good reason why she should be allowed to post $10,000 cash as bail money and be free while awaiting her sentencing hearing.

It's not unheard of for non-violent offenders are allowed free before sentencing. Sometimes they've spent time behind bars while awaiting trial, and they may get credit for time served. In cases where additional jail time is unlikely allowing a convict to bond-out makes sense. Other times, people who've been convicted on white collar crimes are allowed to post bond to "get their lives in order" before heading to jail.

But Baumann's case is different. Her defense was built around a lie. She claimed at trial that her friend, the one surviving passenger of a violent wreck, was the actual driver. The evidence showed this simply wasn't true. The jury saw through it and returned the correct verdict.

This is an unremorseful, devious convict who is facing long-term incarceration. Under what judicial theory does she deserve temporary freedom? Under what morality is she entitled to a two month reprieve after taking two lives? Ashley Baumann should be in jail before her sentencing hearing, and for a long time after.

Chris Conley

Image: Jail Cell, REUTERS / Rick Wilking via wsau.com.