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Experts explain why Smith had freedom after his release

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Updated: 6/25/2013 7:14 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Donald Smith's face is haunting local parents.

"It makes me mad every time I see his face because how could you do that to a child," said mother Sarah Session.
"I don't understand what goes through his mind, what made him do it to an innocent little girl 8 years old," said mother Heather Bell.

Action News cameras caught Donald Smith on his way back behind bars, arrested in connection to the death of little Cherish Perrywinkle. 

Parents say they can't stop wondering how Smith was allowed on the streets again with so much freedom.

"People get released and do the same thing," said Bell.

Action News took those concerns to former FBI agent and attorney Dale Carson. He says Smith fell through the cracks of the system.
Smith was registered as a sex offender rather than a predator. A sexual predator designation would have put more limits on him.
"The second major offense, the one involving his impersonation of a DCF officer was not a sexual offense so it doesn't put him in a sexual predator category, and that really is unfortunate given what we know today," said Carson.

As an offender, Smith was given more leeway after his release, only having to submit to a lie detector test annually and complete a course with a therapist.
However, Police tell Action News they regularly kept tabs on Smith. Investigators say they even spoke with him, just hours before he encountered Cherish.
Carson says police may have done all they could, it's the law that didn't do enough to stop Smith from hurting Cherish.
"Clearly he was an individual that needed very close scrutiny from the government to protect us from his conduct, and it simply wasn't there because the way the system is set up," said Carson.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

c9bcrewman - 6/25/2013 1:03 PM
0 Votes
he is a scum

Gunny48 - 6/25/2013 7:56 AM
0 Votes
@billyoung - no objections here

billyoung - 6/25/2013 5:29 AM
0 Votes
anyone that rapes or kills a child should be hung by the neck until dead.
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