Archive for May, 2013

The Village Voice on the Jesse Friedman Case

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

The National Center for Reason and Justice has sponsored this case for years.

“The police hurt so many people and traumatized the entire community,” he says. “A lot of times I sort of feel like I’m the last standing eyewitness to a horrible massacre. I’m the only one left to tell the tale, because I know that nobody was sexually abused in those computer classes. I was there.”

-Bob Chatelle

New-Trial Motion Filed for Nancy Smith

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The NCRJ has sponsored this case since February of 2004. We firmly believe that Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen are both innocent.

The court filings also contain an extensive affidavit from Maggie Bruck, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at John Hopkins Medical Institutions, who reviewed the taped interviews of the children Smith and Allen were accused of abusing and other evidence in the case. Jurors who convicted Smith and Allen in the 1990s never saw those tapes.

Bruck wrote that the interview techniques used by investigators such as the use of dolls, repetitive questions and investigators rejecting what they believed to be the incorrect answers to questions, irreparably contaminated the memories and testimony of the 4- and 5-year-old children Smith and Allen were accused of molesting.

Prosecutorial Misconduct – What’s to be Done? A Call to Action

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Let’s take politics OUT of the prosecutor’s office, and let’s provide some “hot stove rule” legislation to achieve prosecutorial accountability, including appropriate sanctions and discipline. Prosecutors are always politically campaigning on a platform of “tough on crime.” Well, OK, but that applies to you too Mr./Ms. Prosecutor.

Joseph Allen Still in Desperate Need of Help

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Twenty years ago, Joseph Allen and his co-defendant Nancy Smith were accused of terrible crimes that never happened. They were convicted in August of 1994. Joseph was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences.

Due to a sentencing error, they were released on bond in early 2009. In June of 2009, a judge who reviewed the evidence (more properly the lack of evidence) acquitted them both. Their long terrible nightmare was over.

Or so they thought. Relentless District Attorney Dennis Will filed an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, claiming the judge lacked the authority to acquit. Disgracefully, the Court, with the support of Will and Attorney General Richard Cordray, reinstated the convictions in 2010. (Cordray was later made head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by Obama.)

I know of no other case where acquitted persons have had their convictions reinstated. So much for double jeopardy.

Smith and Allen have remained free but in legal limbo for nearly three years. The judge who acquitted them recused himself. (I suspect under pressure.) Joseph Allen will be back in court on June 5th for resentencing.

Smith and Allen have filed petitions for clemency. Joseph’s lawyer will ask the new judge to let Joseph remain free on bail while the clemency petition is pending. If the amount is again set for $100,000 the bond fee will be $10,000.

The National Center for Reason and Justice has a Prisoner Relief Fund, but we can’t spare $10,000. Recently I made an appeal here for donations to the fund. Thus far we have received over half of the amount needed. But if we don’t meet our goal, Joseph will go back to prison on June 5th — less than a month away.

Joseph became a good friend many years ago. We enjoy spending time with him when he is in Boston visiting family. I spoke with him this evening. He was encouraged by the progress we have made. He asked me to say to his supporters: “I appreciate everything you are doing from the bottom of my heart. You will never be forgotten.”

If you have not already done so, I hope you will find it in your heart to make a donation to the NCRJ’s Prisoner Relief Fund. You can send a check (indicate Prisoner Relief Fund) to:

POB 191101
Roxbury MA 02119

You can make a credit-card donation via PayPal or Google here.

I have frequently posted about this case.

This is a brief summary.





Dorothy Rabinbowitz: The Trials of Father MacRae

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

“Here once more, in the MacRae case, was a set of charges built by a determined sex-abuse investigator and an atmosphere in which accusation was, in effect, all the proof required to bring a guilty verdict. But now there was another factor: huge financial payouts for victims’ claims.”

The case of Father Gordon MacRae has long bee sponsored by the National Center for Reason and Justice. Read this article, by Dorothy Rabinowitz, in the Wall Street Journal (May 11, 2013)

Watch this interview with Rabinowitz.