Saturday, June 23, 2018

The McMartin Trial

I just finished watching an HBO movie about the McMartin trial in Southern California and it terrified me.

Basically the McMartin's ran a child care center and they and teachers working at the center came under suspicion of molesting the children under their care. Questionable techniques used by a social worker led to an avalanche of stories by hundreds of children.

The thing just mushroomed after that with accusations getting wilder and wilder, parents understandably ready to keel haul the accused, the media hyping the sensationalism of the charges without really considering the probability of the accusations and the prosecution under enormous pressure to get convictions.

After seven years and some $15 million spent by the state of California all charges either ended in acquittals or were dropped. Of cou rse the lives of all of the accused were essentially ruined.

How easy it can happen.

Accusations are not convictions. Innocent until proven guilty has to be the basis of our legal system or we might as well go back to mob rule.

This is the danger I see in the feminist #MeToo movement. Yes, jackasses that rape or molest women should be dealt with but it's too easy for this to become hysteria where accusation equates to guilt.

Either the system works or it doesn't and if it doesn't, then we damn well need to fix it.

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