Satanic ritual abuse panic seems to be unraveling

Child-abuse hysteria has produced hundreds, if not thousands, of wrongful convictions over the past 30 years. One of the most virulent strains of this hysteria was the one that started it: Satanic ritual abuse. Linda Rodriguez McRobbie offers a hopeful update here that suggests that the last vestiges of this panic are unraveling. But immense damage was done, and if the lessons left behind aren’t learned, there will be more panics and more innocent people sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit or that didn’t even occur.

5 responses to “Satanic ritual abuse panic seems to be unraveling

  1. Mr. Yant, Thank you for covering this critical subject that has been swept under the rug — out of sight, out of mind. The damage has been immense and needs to be investigated to free the innocent and wrongfully convicted whose lives have been shredded in this new “war” replacing the “War on Drugs”? Those caught in this “industry”, received essentially life sentences as a new sub-class of people with the creation of a Sex Offender Registry. A registry that mixes juveniles experimenting with sex with the most violent sexual predator, and gets harsher with each new emerging crime.

    Moral panics create poorly written laws that enrich those in this child abuse / sex abuse industry, who seek political and financial gain. Once those who file false allegations, face felonies and punishment like they want for the accused, these cases will evaporate, along with all the money.

    See Arizona Supreme Court website Rules Forum Case No: R-11-0033 Petition to Amend ER 3.8 – Ethics responsibility of prosecutors, recently passed. The prosecutors adamantly fought its passage, gave misleading or untrue statement to the Arizona Supreme Court judges — like there are NO wrongful convictions in Arizona, NO Brady violations in Arizona. These letters should be a case study in law schools, social justice and public policy schools. Until we get at the root of who and what drives all this, nothing will change.

    Now, who’s going to “right the wrongs” that the lawmakers and prosecutors have turned a blind eye to and do not want to recognize?

  2. Maricopa County, AZ: NO wrongful convictions, NO new evidence, NO Brady violations?

    Bill Montgomery’s Actions Argue in Favor of Ethical Rule He Opposes
    By Stephen Lemons Mon., Oct. 7 2013 at 2:00 PM

    “At the beginning of August, I wrote about proposed new ethical rules for Arizona prosecutors, in a petition currently pending before the Arizona Supreme Court.
    Opposed by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, as well as numerous other county, state and federal prosecutors in Arizona, these amendments to Ethical Rule 3.8 would require prosecutors to reveal to defense counsel or a court any “new, credible, and material” evidence that creates a “reasonable likelihood” a convicted defendant did not commit the crime in question.

    Under the suggested guidelines, a prosecutor must “make reasonable efforts” to look into the matter or have the “appropriate law enforcement agency” investigate the new evidence. And if there is “clear and convincing” evidence of a convicted person’s innocence, the prosecutor must work to “set aside the conviction.”

    See also:
    Bill Montgomery Opposes Ethics Rule Requiring Prosecutors to Reveal Evidence of Wrongful Convictions

    The changes were suggested two years ago by the Arizona Justice Project, a non-profit group that works to free the wrongly convicted. The proposals are based on more stringent language adopted in 2008 by the American Bar Association.”

  3. link: Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery Opposes Ethics Rule Requiring Prosecutors to Reveal Evidence of Wrongful Convictions

  4. missing link: Bill Montgomery Opposes Ethics Rule Requiring Prosecutors to Reveal Evidence of Wrongful Convictions

  5. Thank you, Mr. Yant. I blog about the Little Rascals Day Care case and other episodes from the moral panic of the 1980s and early ’90s….

    At least one victim of the era — North Carolina day care bus driver Andrew Junior Chandler — remains imprisoned after 27 years (!)….

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