Deters is Master of Manipulation

Few politicians are as adroit at hogging the spotlight as Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. His performance last week, after the death of 3-year-old Marcus Fiesel came to light, was especially exploitive.

Investigators apparently made apt use of the grand jury to force out the truth about what happened to the missing child: He had been killed. Indictments initially handed up Aug. 28 charged Marcus’ foster parents with involuntary manslaughter and child endangering. The little boy died in their home in Union Township, in Clermont County, according to Deters. That’s when his involvement should have ended.

But Deters knew this case was bound to evoke public outrage, and he played it to the hilt, announcing Aug. 29 that murder indictments would be sought. That’s an odd thing to do, because the homicide allegedly occurred outside his jurisdiction. Deters knew the case would have to go to Clermont County.

But still he didn’t stop. The next day, Aug. 30, Deters announced that he wanted, but couldn’t pursue, the death penalty for the foster parents. As quoted in The Cincinnati Post, Deters said, “Would we like to give them the death penalty? Yes, we would. But you can’t indict someone for the death penalty just because you want them to get the death penalty.”

What purpose then was served by Deters saying he’d like to use the death penalty? Nothing but to stir up the public. Nothing but to enhance his own standing as someone who’s tough on crime.

It wasn’t until two days later, on Sept. 1, that Deters admitted what he must have known all week: Not only wouldn’t he be seeking the death penalty, but he wouldn’t be prosecuting the homicide charges at all. At a press conference with Clermont County Prosecutor Donald White, Deters said the case would next go to Clermont County, its proper jurisdiction.

White gushed about how well Deters had handled the media all week, unintentionally pointing to his grandstanding performance.

“Joe’ll be handling all the PR,” White said.

Pressed to explain why the homicide case was being transferred to Clermont County, while lesser charges will remain in Hamilton County. Deters said, “The last thing we want is a technicality and have these two walk.”

But Deters still hadn’t exhausted his camera-ready outrage. He next targeted Marcus’ birth mother, addressing the issue of whether she might file a lawsuit over her son’s death.

“I’m just sickened that people keep using Marcus as a check. … She should mourn her child, but to angle this for money is outrageous,” Deters said.

Angling this tragedy for political points, however, is quite all right.

— Gregory Flannery

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6 Comments on “Deters is Master of Manipulation”

  1. WestEnder Says:

    It’s about time someone called out Deters for his nakedly blatant exploitation of this poor boy’s death. His unctuous sanctimony was obvious from the beginning. He is a politician in the worst sense of the word, using a tragedy for personal political gain. What a disgusting hypocrite. Throw this bum out.

  2. The truth Says:

    I wondered why Deters was all over it. Sadly, it’s clear that Marcus Feisel never was in Hamilton County — and these guys knew if from early on.

  3. one advocate Says:

    Didn’t Deters say that HIS STAFF would be assisting Clermont County in the prosecutionof this case? If so , isn’t that something like misappropriatio or something? How can he use OUR TAX dollars to work in another couty – he should take care of all the murders and child abuse i Hamilton County and let Clermot handle their own citizens. we have enough to worry about. and if Deters is going to assign OUR prosecutors to work in Clermont County – I hope we’re being reimbursed for the costs!!!!
    (Not that anything inthis comment intends to minimize our abiltiy and desire to “ehlp out” but, geez…)

  4. Jesus Christ Says:

    I think that Joe Deters said the right things and that they needed to be said. Those people who did that unspeakable crime are animals. I wish we could give them the death penalty. I think that Joe Deters was speaking from the heart. It isn’t hard in this case. It is probably the one thing we can all agree on.

  5. one advocate Says:

    yes deters is right, yes deters is exploting the issue.
    here’s a question nobody is asking that i know of; what steps did the county take to keep or return marcus back with his obviously mentally ill, possibly borderline retarded mother and his siblings?
    if the children’s services had provided his bio mother with the ecessary services and support in the first place – our foster children wouldn’t be in suh danger. they are very quick to remove children because it is cheaper than giving the support services necessary to keep the family together.
    i imagine that a family assessment ( one without pressure and threats) would have required mental health assistance for mom and transportation to and fro, day care in a special facility for marcus and the baby with special needs endorcements, home care assistant/aide to clean, social service worker to monitor, parenting skills classes for mom, specialized equipment and housing accomodations, in depth testing and therapeutic care for marcus, …
    these are the reasos that child was removed – it was cheaper to play rent a kid than to keep the family together.
    (i kow that won’t be a popular comment)

  6. Jesus Christ Says:

    Marcus was living in a barricaded room that was smeared with human feces. Support for that woman would have entailed 24 hour round the clock babysitting. She isn’t fit to be a mother, yet that didn’t stop her from having three kids with three different fathers. Now she wants five million.


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