Archive for November, 2009

An Assesment of Martha Coakley by a Berkshire County Friend of Justice

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

I spent many years in Berkshire County practicing law. I have since moved out of Massachusetts.

Martha Coakley badly mishandled the Fells Acres alleged child abuse case in Malden, Massachusetts, with the Amirault family, causing the premature death of Violet Amirault and lasting personal and professional harm to Cheryl Amirault LeFave and her brother Gerald, who was wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years. Violet and Cheryl each served 8 years in prison, after which Violet developed and died from stomach cancer.

Coakley is a disgrace to the legal profession, a prosecutor without any feel for justice or truth.

Many Berkshire County residents are leery of Coakley, as well they should be. It is bad enough that she got elected chief legal officer of Massachusetts (attorney general). It would be a travesty for her to be elected to the United States Senate.

Judge Isaac Borenstein kept Cheryl from being retried, but only at the cost of her most fundamental personal liberties, including the right to speak publicly about the case until a mere three weeks from now WHEN IT IS TO BE HOPED THAT SHE WILL CASTIGATE MARTHA COAKLEY PUBLICLY FOR HER DISGRACEFUL ROLE IN THIS CASE.

In 2008 Judge Francis Fecteau issued a lengthy opinion freeing Bernard Baran, another wrongfully imprisoned purported child sex offender from Berkshire County, after 22 years of imprisonment in a similar case that was complicated by the fact that the Baran is gay. Homophobia ran rampant. Only the concurring opinion of the Massachusetts Appeals Court convinced Martha’s colleague David Capeless, Berkshire County DA, from retrying Baran, who suffered horrendous abuse during his long imprisonment.

Keeping children safe from sexual abuse is one thing. Persecuting innocent caretakers is quite another kettle of fish. Coakley still doesn’t know the difference. She is unfit for ANY public office.

Please Send a Card to a Prisoner

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Dear Friend of Justice,

This is a most difficult time of the year to be in prison, especially if you are innocent with little hope for justice.

You can bring some cheer to a prisoner just by taking the time to send a card, letter, or note.

If you don’t regularly correspond with a prisoner, here is a list of some names and addresses.


A Step in the Right Direction

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Dear Friend of Justice,

This was sent to me by a Friend of Justice


A Blog Post From Oklahoma

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Dear Friend of Justice,

My Baran google alert came up with this today:

I have no major news about Bee’s health. His lungs are doing much better and his asthma bothers him less. But he still has discomfort from his pancreatitis and colitis.

-Bob Chatelle

The Phoenix Printed my Letter But….

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

I’m not thrilled about how they edited it.

I particularly didn’t like their substituting “Many halfway intelligent people have come to believe that no crimes were committed in these instances, and that unreliable evidence was used” for “Halfway intelligent people who have looked into these cases have quickly realized that no crimes were committed and that the Amiraults and Souzas were convicted on fabricated unreliable evidence.” I’d have little problem if they had just omitted the word many, which drains the sentence of meaning.

I’m somehow reminded of the routine in which Peter Cook defends his taking a job with the Beaverbrook newspapers by saying, “Just because my name appears at the top of the column you mustn’t assume that I’m in some way connected with it.”


Please Write to the Boston Globe

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Dear Friend of Justice,

Today the Boston Globe published this predictably adulatory article about Martha Coakley.

There is no mention of her signing the amicus supporting absolute prosecutorial immunity. Nor is there any mention of her prosecution of Ray and Shirley Souza, a case that thrust her into the public eye long before she prosecuted Louise Woodward.

At least it mentions (at the end of a long article) her disgraceful role in the Amirault case, which she still defends.

“I am as convinced [as I am of] anything that those children were abused at that day-care center by the three defendants [Violet, Cheryl, and Gerald Amirault], and if I weren’t, I would be the first to acknowledge that,’’ she said.

This statement alone is ample proof that Coakley is either an idiot or a liar. In either case, she is unfit for public office.

Please write to the Globe. The email address is

I will send them a modified version of my letter to the Phoenix. But the more letters they receive, the more likely it is that they will run one.

-Bob Chatelle

A Letter to the Boston Phoenix

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Dear Editor:

I was disappointed that the Phoenix chose to describe Attorney General’s Martha Coakley’s stand against the health-care bill recently passed by the House of Representatives as “principled.” Coakley takes “principled” stands when they benefit her politically. And her more dubious stands are ignored by the adoring press.

How many voters, for example, know that she recently signed Massachusetts onto an amicus brief that advocates total immunity for prosecutors?

The case, now before the Supreme Court, concerns two Iowa African-Americans who were framed by prosecutors for a murder they did not commit. These two innocent men spent 25 years of their lives in prison. Because of Coakley, Massachusetts now supports the position that “There is no freestanding Constitutional ‘right not to be framed.’“ Coakley and the Iowa prosecutors argue that there would be a “chilling” effect if prosecutors were forced to obey the law. One would hope so.

Most, unfortunately, have forgotten Coakley’s own checkered history as a prosecutor in the Middlesex DA’s office. She was an avid witch hunter while the daycare sex panic still raged. She came to prominence prosecuting Ray and Shirley Souza, two grandparents who were charged with bizarre sex crimes they did not commit. She also fought to send the Amiraults back to prison and successfully lobbied against commuting Gerald Amirault’s sentence.

Halfway intelligent people who have looked into these cases have quickly realized that no crimes were committed and that the Amiraults and Souzas were convicted on fabricated unreliable evidence. Unfortunately, few voters remember that Coakley had anything to do with these cases.

Coakley is not “principled.” She is ruthlessly ambitious. If would be tragic should she be elected to succeed Ted Kennedy.

Robert B. Chatelle

Ray and Shirley Souza — the Case that Made Martha Coakley a Star

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Dear Friend of Justice,

While a few remember Coakley’s disgraceful (but late) involvement in the Amirault case, fewer remember her career-making prosecution of two innocent Lowell grandparents, convicted (without evidence) of sexually abusing their grandchildren.

Coakley was the prosecutor.

Please read this account of the case by Mark Pendergrast.


Coakley Unfit to Replace Ted Kennedy — by Daniel Weaver

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Martha Coakley, the current Massachusetts Attorney General, is not fit to be a United States Senator. Anyone who thinks so only needs to study the Fells Acres Day Care case. The Fells Acres Day Care was started by Violet Amirault and run with the help of her son, Gerald, and his sister, Cheryl Amirault LeFave. In the midst of the daycare sex abuse hysteria of the 1980s, all three were charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse.

The charges were some of the most heinous ever made. However, they were also ludicrous. Supposedly Gerald dressed up as a clown and assaulted the children in a secret or magic room. Some children claimed to be sodomized with two foot knives and lobsters. Some of the acts allegedly took place on the front lawn in full view of the highway.

Read the entire article.

-Bob Chatelle

Bernard Baran Health Update — 11/09/09

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Dear Friend of Justice,

I haven’t posted any updates on Bernard Baran for a while because there have been no dramatic changes, for better or worse. But I relize that many of you are worried and want to know what has been going on.

On a positive note, he has stayed out of the hospital and his lungs have much improved. He often sounds like his old self on the phone.

On the other hand, his white cell count is up and doctors are worried that this could be the prelude to another pancreatitis attack.

I had been hoping that his recovery would be quick and dramatic. I now realize that this is going to be a very slow process.

Some years ago, one of my cousins was felled with pancreatitis. She had an absolutely terrible time for a full year. But she has been doing quite well for the past decade.

I guess we just have to be patient and keep hoping.

I wonder how Judge Daniel Ford is feeling these days.