Craig Miller, the Lehi father whose effort to build homemade fireworks ended in the tragic injury of 11-year-old Bridger Hunt, has been charged with felony child abuse and three other charges that added together could carry a potential 44-year prison sentence.

To understand what's really happened here, consider this hypothetical case. Suppose a mother who was driving-while-intoxicated severely injured a child-pedestrian in an accident. Would she be subject to the same severity of prosecution, including child abuse, even if the victim's family requested leniency? Has anyone ever heard of such a heavy charge for an intoxicated driver?

If the likely answer is "no," then do we really believe that a father who makes the tragic error of trying to build homemade fireworks to entertain his children is so much worse than this example of an intoxicated driver? Perhaps the charge of child abuse in Craig Miller's case is based more on emotion that good sense.

Steve Cope

Salt Lake City