Archive for December, 2014

The Remembrance Project: Bernard Baran

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Without the tireless efforts of the National Center for Reason and Justice, Bernard Baran would have died unknown and without exoneration in prison. We rely on your help to continue our work. Please consider making a donation

From WBUR in Boston:

http://www.wbur.org/2014/12/23/the-remembrance-project-bernard-baran.,

Lawrence Brose Case Finally Over

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

“Lawrence Brose’s five-year battle with the United States was always about more than child pornography.

“For his fellow artists, many of them skeptical of the government’s allegations, Brose’s criminal prosecution was also about freedom of speech and expression.”

From the Buffalo News:

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/courts/5-year-battle-for-brose-ends-with-2-years-probation-over-obscenity-charge-20141217

More articles about the Brose case:

Brose admirers seek leniency in obscenity case

Obscenity plea enables filmmaker to avoid child porn conviction

Filmmaker Brose close to taking plea deal in child porn case, court records indicate

Attorney in Brose child porn case says blame rests with someone else

Brose’s child porn indictment to remain; Recommendation to dismiss is rejected

Brose’s exit from CEPA caps weeks of anguish Gallery group torn over child porn case

Child porn suspect faces risk with trial Brose case may be 1st to go before jury here

Are Prosecutors Above the Law?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

“There is something terribly wrong with a justice system that allows an inordinate amount of power to reside in the hands of one office that not only has no real accountability or oversight, but is insulated from the consequences of its actions by court-granted immunity. And no, I am not talking about Supreme Court justices, but about prosecuting attorneys.”

http://wrongfulconvictionsblog.org/2014/12/08/are-prosecutors-above-the-law/

The College Rape Overcorrection

Monday, December 8th, 2014

“Unfortunately, under the worthy mandate of protecting victims of sexual assault, procedures are being put in place at colleges that presume the guilt of the accused. Colleges, encouraged by federal officials, are instituting solutions to sexual violence against women that abrogate the civil rights of men. Schools that hold hearings to adjudicate claims of sexual misconduct allow the accuser and the accused to be accompanied by legal counsel. But as Judith Shulevitz noted in the New Republic in October, many schools ban lawyers from speaking to their clients (only notes can be passed). During these proceedings, the two parties are not supposed to question or cross examine each other, a prohibition recommended by the federal government in order to protect the accuser. And by federal requirement, students can be found guilty under the lowest standard of proof: preponderance of the evidence, meaning just a 51 percent certainty is all that’s needed for a finding that can permanently alter the life of the accused.

“More than two dozen Harvard Law School professors recently wrote a statement protesting the university’s new rules for handling sexual assault claims. “Harvard has adopted procedures for deciding cases of alleged sexual misconduct which lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process,” they wrote. The professors note that the new rules call for a Title IX compliance officer who will be in charge of “investigation, prosecution, fact-finding, and appellate review.” Under the new system, there will be no hearing for the accused, and thus no opportunity to question witnesses and mount a defense. Harvard University, the professors wrote, is “jettisoning balance and fairness in the rush to appease certain federal administrative officials.” But to push back against Department of Education edicts means potentially putting a school’s federal funding in jeopardy, and no college, not even Harvard, the country’s richest, is willing to do that.”

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/12/college_rape_campus_sexual_assault_is_a_serious_problem_but_the_efforts.html

The Real Victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse

Monday, December 8th, 2014

But extensive investigations revealed little to no truth to the satanic ritual abuse panic. The McMartin Preschool trial ended in 1990 with no convictions, even after the government threw more than $15 million at prosecuting it. In 1992, FBI agent Kenneth Lanning, in his report on satanic ritual abuse, declared that satanic ritual abuse wasn’t credible: “Hundreds of communities all over America are run by mayors, police departments, and community leaders who are practicing Satanists and who regularly murder and eat people? Not likely.” Two years later, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, under the federal Department of Health and Human Services, released a report claiming that there was no evidence of truth in satanic ritual abuse claims. Even so, people still believed: A Redbook magazine survey conducted in 1994 found that fully 70 percent of Americans believed that satanic ritual abuse was real.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/01/fran_and_dan_keller_freed_two_of_the_last_victims_of_satanic_ritual_abuse.single.html