Keeping Real Evil Out of Our Society

Some people prove by single acts that they are permanent dangers to society. Richard Smith II, of Kanawha County, is one of them.

Smith was convicted of multiple charges last week in Charleston. The charges all involve him sexually abusing a 1-year-old girl — and videotaping the sickening crime.

Prosecutors say Smith and his then-girlfriend, Roseanna Thompson, abused the child in 2015. The girl is Thompson’s granddaughter. The two were arrested in 2018, after Smith’s ex-wife accidentally found videos showing him and Thompson abusing the child.

Smith is to be sentenced in March. His conviction means he could be sent to prison for 205-775 years.

The latter sounds about right. Some criminals, even sex offenders, can be rehabilitated. But anyone capable of doing what Smith did is, almost by definition, so thoroughly evil as to be unredeemable.

Society needs to be protected from him for the rest of his life.

And if Thompson is convicted in her March trial, the same goes for her.


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