Another BS 1980s Child Molestation Conviction May Be Reversed

For those too young to remember, during the 1980's we endured a hysteria about child molestations, with a number of pretty obviously innocent men dragged to jail on the back of testimony coerced from kids by over-zealous prosecutors.  Janet Reno became particularly famous for the "Miami method" of hounding kids until they started pointing fingers at whomever the prosecutors had their eye on, and rode such fame to the US AG office (see here and here for the disturbing details).

As the kids grow up, a number of these prosecutions are finally falling apart, as in this story.  Of course, as i9s typical in such cases, despite all the witnesses coming forward and admitting they were coerced into making false accusations, the prosecutors are not giving up easily.  via Overlawyered

  • stan

    I've always wondered how it was possible to stick a fork in a child and leave no mark. More accurately, I've wondered how prosecutors and juries could believe that it was possible.

    These cases should have been a canary in the mine shaft -- news media (other than Dorothy Rabinowitz) was incapable of even basic competence. See e.g. the Duke Lacrosse case. The failure of the news media over the last 40 years is the most important story in America during that time -- not just in politics, but throughout society.

  • Dr. T

    This is reason #27 why I don't buy the propaganda that the hard-working people in our district attorney's offices are helping to keep us safe by convicting the evil.

    The reality is that my DAs convict the innocent to gain fame and keep their 'successful' prosecution rates high.

  • This is a good reason to enact a policy that prosecutors should be permanently ineligible for other public office. The incentives to capitalize on media-whipped frenzy and seriously victimize the innocent are too strong.

  • Richard Rider

    Incredibly, this gross injustice was COMMON back in the 1980's. The tales of child abuse were literally unbelievable -- unsubstantiated by and CONTRARY TO any physical evidence.

    The cases depended entirely on information coerced from kids intimidated by adult authority figures. Think Salem which trials -- without the executions.

    And far too many people are STILL in jail because governors don't want to appear "soft on crime."

    There is a stunning, high quality movie covering one egregious example -- The McMartin Trial -- which closely documents the actual events. Kindergarten operators in Long Beach were sent to prison for doing absolutely nothing.

    To find this movie, check the internet, your library (unlikely), or perhaps your Netflicks service. The movie stars James Woods, and verbatim follows the court testimony.