Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Seeking Facebook Experts

July 17th, 2017

The National Center for Reason and Justice has long sponsored the case of Joseph Allen and Nancy Smith.

Both were acquitted by a judge some years ago. Nancy Smith was allowed to remain free, but Joseph Allen was sent back to prison.

The crimes Joseph didn’t commit were considered more serious than the crimes Nancy didn’t commit.

I can think of no worse travesty of justice that I have encountered in my years of activism.

You can read about the case here and here.

One of Joseph’s most tireless advocates is Dr. Bernard Rosenthal. (Who also happens to be a leading expert on the actual Salem witch hunt.) Dr. Rosenthal wants to use Facebook to increase public awareness of this injustice. And he is seeking help.

If you know your way around Facebook and are willing to help with this important work, you can email Dr. Rosenthal at bernardrosenthal@yahoo.com.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Supreme Court unanimously overturns North Carolina’s ban on social-media use by sex offenders

July 4th, 2017

“[T]he State may not enact this complete bar to the exercise of First Amendment rights on websites integral to the fabric of our modern society and culture. It is well established that, as a general rule, the Government “may not suppress lawful speech as the means to suppress unlawful speech.” … That is what North Carolina has done here. Its law must be held invalid.”

Read the article by David Post in the Washington Post.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Texas Couple Exonerated, but we have New Witches to Hunt

June 27th, 2017

“Viewed in retrospect, it seems that otherwise sensible people quite simply lost their minds. Social workers, therapists, prosecutors and cops joined a fruitcake crusade that ruined people’s lives, based on the coerced claims of vulnerable little kids.”

Read the editorial in the Dallas Morning News by Jacquielynn Floyd.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Couple Exonerated in ‘Satanic Panic’ Child Ritual Abuse Case

June 24th, 2017

“The Kellers were not the only ones to face outlandish charges; in the 1980s and early ’90s, a phenomenon that has since become known as “Satanic Panic” was sweeping the nation. A confluence of societal factors led to widespread hysteria about Satanists who were hidden in plain view and running clandestine, national child sex abuse rings. Hundreds of people — many of them daycare workers — were accused of abuse, including the McMartin family in California and Margaret Kelly Michaels in New Jersey. (The McMartins were eventually acquitted, and Michaels was exonerated, but not until she had spent six years in prison).”

Read the article by Bethania Palmer at Snopes.com. An excellent overview of the ritual-abuse panic and its precedents.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Babysitters Accused of Satanic Crimes Exonerated After 25 Years

June 22nd, 2017

“The decision brings an end to one of the more prominent cases brought during the so-called Satanic Panic of the 1980s and the early 1990s, where fears of devil-worshippers influencing American children spread rapidly. During this time, hundreds of childcare providers were accused of unspeakable crimes, and many would spend years behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit.”

Read the article by Sarah Pruitt in History in the Headlines.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Fran and Dan Keller Declared Actually Innocent!

June 21st, 2017

“Nearly two years after the state’s highest criminal court overturned the child sexual abuse convictions for day care owners Dan and Fran Keller, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore will file court documents Tuesday declaring them “actually innocent” under the law and dropping pending charges against them.”

Read the article by Tony Pichefski and Chuck Lindell in My Statesman.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Point Austin: Justice Too Long Delayed

June 16th, 2017

If all this were not enough, the now elderly Kellers, who have been remarkably stoic and patient – even forgiving – during their long ordeal, are near a breaking point. They live on minimal Social Security, supplemented unevenly by family and friends, and both have serious health problems (caused or aggravated by imprisonment) that they can’t afford to address. Worse, their spirits are breaking – on the phone trying to discuss their circumstances, Fran quickly breaks down in tears, and she says the normally resilient Dan (deaf from prison neglect) has become increasingly despondent.

“We can’t fix this injustice entirely; it’s gone on too long, and some of the worst damage is irreparable. The Keller case was a local outbreak of a mob-madness that gripped the entire country (and which simmers always beneath the cultural surface, in various forms). But the responsibility doesn’t just rest with the D.A.’s Office, which was and is no more than an instrument of community justice. All of us who live in Travis County share in the responsibility for what happened to the Kellers, and share in the responsibility to do what we can to make it right.”

Read the article by Michael King in the Austin Chronicle.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Please Send Joseph a Birthday Card

May 23rd, 2017

May 29th is Joseph Allen’s birthday. Joseph is a dear friend and his is perhaps the most tragic case I have encountered. You can read about it here.

Here is Joseph’s prison address. A card from you would brighten his day!

Joseph Lee Allen #A293-486
Grafton Correctional Institution
2500 South Avon Beldon Road
Grafton, Ohio 44044-9802

Thank you!

-Bob

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Please Send a Birthday Card to Joseph Allen

May 22nd, 2017

May 29th is Joseph Allen’s birthday. Joseph is a dear friend and his is perhaps the most tragic case I have encountered. You can read about it here.

Here is Joseph’s prison address. A card from you would brighten his day!

Joseph Lee Allen #A293-486
Grafton Correctional Institution
2500 South Avon Beldon Road
Grafton, Ohio 44044-9802

Thank you!

-Bob

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

The Accusation

May 22nd, 2017

“Katie didn’t know the full story. She knew only what DeAnne had told her growing up: Ray had touched her “inappropriately.” Katie didn’t remember any of the abuse, but DeAnne explained that Katie had most likely buried the terrible things her father had done to her so deeply that she couldn’t access any recollections of them.

“That never felt right to Katie, though. She had long nursed a suspicion that the memories weren’t there because they didn’t exist, and her father had been innocent all along. If that was the case, it meant she and her older brother, Matt, had played a role in putting their father in prison.”

Read the full article. by Maurice Chammah in collaboration with Esquire, at The Marshall Project.