The pain of losing a child is not something to be used as political or legal fodder.

It is a mind-numbing, life-altering event that unless you have experienced it, you couldn’t understand it. Parents who have dealt with this unimaginable grief, often want answers that never seem to come. The parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods know this all too well.

Photo credit: Dreuz

Smith and Woods were killed while coming to the rescue of Ambassador Chris Stevens and other personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean and Charles Woods, father of Tyrone, filed a wrongful death suit in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, accusing her of failing to send help to Benghazi and lying about the cause of the attack.

More than a year later U.S. District Court Judge, Amy Berman Jackson, has dismissed the lawsuit and cleared Clinton of any wrongdoing. Jackson, who was appointed by Obama in 2011, said the parents “were understandably grieving” and therefore “misunderstood” Clinton’s explanation regarding their children’s deaths.

Jackson’s decision read in part:

Photo credit: Legal Times

“The Court finds that Secretary Clinton was acting in the scope of her employment when she transmitted the emails that are alleged to give rise to her liability. The untimely death of plaintiffs’ sons is tragic, and the Court does not mean to minimize the unspeakable loss that plaintiffs have suffered in any way. But when one applies the appropriate legal standards, it is clear that plaintiffs have not alleged sufficient facts to rebut the presumption that Secretary Clinton was acting in her official capacity when she used her private email server.” [emphasis mine]

Speaking directly to the slander portion of the lawsuit, Jackson suggested that Smith and Woods were “mistaken” about Clinton calling them liars. “Secretary Clinton did not refer to plaintiffs as liars,” Jackson noted. “Plaintiffs may find the candidate’s statements in her own defense to be ‘unpleasant or offensive,’ but Secretary Clinton did not portray plaintiffs as odious, infamous, or ridiculous…. To the contrary, the statements portray plaintiffs as normal parents, grieving over the tragic loss of their loved ones.”

Smith and Woods’ attorney, Larry Klayman, believes the ruling was politically motivated which isn’t a far-fetched conclusion given Jackson’s history of ruling against conservatives. It is not yet known if the plaintiffs will appeal Jackson’s decision but given their strong feelings about Clinton’s guilt, it seems probable.  

 

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