It is clear to me that all Arnt and Gregor want to do is to win. Don't think that Aldridge's testimony is not going to figure in an appeal, given her stature before the Georgia Supreme Court, which already deferred to her expertise in a previous ruling.
Furthermore, the Georgia State Bar is going to be interested in how these people plowed forward with the charges and a trial in the face of the kind of information that Dr. Aldridge has provided. The penalty for promoting false evidence is disbarment.
Furthermore, the abuse that the defense has taken at the hands of the prosecution and its junior partner, Brian House, is not going to go unnoticed. A lot of prominent people in legal circles are angry, and the Little Three is on notice that their careers might be cut a bit short.
Somehow, they continue to deceive themselves into thinking that if they just can win this trial and get a guilty verdict, that all will be forgotten and forgiven. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.
[Update IV, Monday 3:00 PM]: "It Didn't Fit With Their Theory"
By the time Dr. Nancy Aldridge is done with her time on the stand, Brian House is going to wish that he had disqualified her when he got the chance. My favorite line is regarding the failure of Tim Deal to include the child's statement that she was saying what her mother told her to say.
Why? Dr. Aldridge gives the perfect reply: "It didn't fit with their theory." Indeed, it did not, as the prosecution for days has had to resort to every trick in order pound the square evidence peg into the round hole of justice. This trial continues to be a disgrace, and I also am certain that the previous convictions garnered by the Dishonest Duo also will fit this pattern when they are properly scrutinized.
North Georgia, you have another McMartin/Wenatchee on your hands and you are going to have to deal with it. Don't think that people are going to back off and just let it go.
[Update III, Monday 11:40 AM]: Dr. Nancy Aldridge continues to blow away the "evidence" that Brian House has so been trying to protect. She has commented directly on the interviews given by CAC people, noting that they were leading and poorly-done.
I have no idea if the jury even is awake, but Dr. Aldridge is saying what a lot of us have been pointing out all along. There was no "investigation," folks. At the very beginning, the Usual Suspects decided that they were going to reach a conclusion before anything was done, and that Tonya Craft would be put on trial, convicted, and sent to prison for the rest of her life.
Sandra Lamb and Sherry Wilson would have their revenge, and Joal and Sarah Bass Henke would have custody of Tonya's children. Arnt and Gregor would be able to pose as the "saviors" of the community, and House would be seen as a judge that was "tough on crime." Once again, the Children's Advocacy Centers would be praised for protecting children.
I don't know what the jury will decide, but it is very, very clear that this was a dishonest and contrived "investigation" from the start. And no matter what the jury decides, there are people who are going to have to answer for what they have done, and you can bet that I will not be the only person out there pursuing them.
Lawyers all over the country currently are watching this trial and discussing them on their blogs. The blogging no longer is limited to Kevin West and me. There is going to be hell to pay here, and justice is going to be done. Of that, you can be sure.
[End Update III]
[Update II, Monday 10:40 AM]: As expected, the prosecution tried to disqualify today's expert witness, Dr. Nancy Aldridge, who is a nationally-recognized expert in this field and rarely testifies for the defense. She is one of the founders of the Children's Advocacy Centers in Georgia, and her testimony is highly-authoritative. Thus, once again, the prosecutors pulled out all stops but even House this time knew that if he refused to let Dr. Aldridge testify, the consequences would be such that he could not contain them in what has become the "House of Horrors."
Reading the various twitters, it is clear that Dr. Aldridge is debunking the videotapes, the questioning, and the qualifications of many of the people from the CAC. Because of her stature, it will be interesting to see of Len Gregor and Chris Arnt try to abuse her as they have the other witnesses.
As someone else posted, House literally interrupted Dr. Aldridge in mid-sentence to announce a courtroom break. Unbelievable.
[End Update II]
[Update, Monday 8:45 AM]: Today, the defense brings another expert witness who has examined all of the videotapes and gives her assessment of whether or not the results of the interviews were valid. Given her stature, it almost is a sure thing that the prosecution will try to have her testimony disqualified, or at least her comments regarding the actual videotapes disallowed.
Last Friday, I believe it is strongly possible that Len Gregor lied to the court when he said he had not received the summary statement from the defense regarding Dr. Ann Hazzard. I await a similar trick today. I remind readers of what the Codes of Conduct for Prosecutors as given by the Georgia State Bar state:
Rule 3.3:The maximum penalty for breaking these above rules is disbarment.
(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal;
A lawyer shall not:
(a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act;
(b) (1) falsify evidence;
(2) counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely;
Dear Dr. Nielson:
For all of my life, I have been tied to the conservative wing of the Presbyterian Church. As a child, I was part of the old Evangelical Presbyterian Church (which had come from the Bible Presbyterian Church denomination), and later the Reformed Presbyterian Church. In 1982, when the RPs joined with the Presbyterian Church in America, I then became associated with PCA congregations.
We came to the Chattanooga area in 1964, as my father took a teaching job with Covenant College, where he taught full-time until 1993. Because he taught in what then was called the Bible Department, I became quite familiar with how the people at Covenant apply Reformed Theology. Later, when I taught there (part-time) from 1990 to 1995, I continued to learn and understand how the theology is applied to how the courses are taught, and to life itself.
Covenant stresses a "world and life view" in which the role of Christians is to "reclaim the world for Christ," and students are taught from day one to look to apply the faith to all areas of life. In order to be graduated, students must produce a "Senior Integration Project" (SIP) in which a student must demonstrate that he or she really understands the worldview that Covenant tries to present.
Students from Covenant also are involved in projects around the world, and sometimes in the local community, and their impact is positive. As one of the early "Covenant kids," the college was the center of my life for many years, and I took in much of the theology that the college and its faculty members presented to me.
Furthermore, Covenant stresses "justice" issues, and students are taught to act justly and to support those causes that promote justice, as part of the college's mission to be a partner in "reclaiming the world for Christ." All of these things are good, and I have supported that mission for as long as I have known about Covenant.
However, there is an issue of justice that is going on in your backyard, the Lookout Mountain Judicial District. You don't have to send students to Africa or to South America to witness terrible injustices done to Christians. No, all you have to do is to drive to the Catoosa County Courthouse in Ringgold to witness how three men have conspired to strip Tonya Craft of every element of a fair trial.
Before we discuss the issues of this particular case, the fact that Ms. Craft is being tried for alleged child molestation should not be a barrier. I believe that had Judge Brian House actually permitted the defense to have its witnesses on the stand and testify as to the information they had, the evidence debunking these charges would have been powerful and made to the jury.
Even if I believed Ms. Craft really was a child molester, I still would be outraged at the antics of the prosecutors, Chris Arnt and Len Gregor, who with the assistance of House have turned the proceedings into something as shameful as you would have seen in Stalin's Soviet Union. Arnt and Gregor are trying to create the intimidating atmosphere of a show trial, and so far they have succeeded, in large part because influential people like you have been silent.
Unfortunately, the news, because of its "objective" institutional constraints, cannot demonstrate to the public just what a sham this "trial" has become. As one reporter told me, the entire tribunal has turned into a "House of Horrors" in which the prosecutors totally have taken over, making noises, loudly sighing, rolling their eyes, objecting at nearly everything the defense has tried to do, bullying witnesses, suborning perjured testimony, and twisting the law so they can "just win, baby." This is not a trial, anymore; it is something akin to the locker room scene in which the "jocks" bully everyone else and the coach looks the other way.
However, just because Brian House has been teaming with Arnt and Gregor to deprive Ms. Craft her precious right to a fair trial does not mean that you have to remain quiet. Unfortunately, both Covenant administrators and faculty and the area PCA pastors have said nothing publicly about this abomination occurring right in broad daylight. Other churches have openly supported Ms. Craft AND the rights to fairness during the proceedings; the PCA and Covenant might as well be on another continent.
Let me tell you about a woman whose devotion should put all of you to shame. She is an elderly woman from Dalton, and she has to use oxygen while she is in the courthouse. In fact, she really is not supposed to be there, but she has faithfully been in that courtroom every day, witnessing the shameful actions of House, Gregor, and Arnt. She also has an entire Sunday School class praying faithfully for Ms. Craft. How many PCA churches have even offered one prayer for her?
What is more amazing to me is that she did not know Ms. Craft before this trial began. She just decided to come because she had made herself familiar with the case and the facts surrounding it and concluded that a great injustice was being done, and House, Arnt, and Gregor have done their best to prove her right.
Now, I doubt this woman has the sophisticated theology that accompanies Covenant and the area PCA congregations. In fact, I doubt she even would understand what you mean by a "SIP," and I doubt seriously she knows anything about John Calvin and the other Reformers. She just knows right from wrong, and she is doing everything she can to demonstrate she will stand up for right.
For that matter, Tonya attends a congregation of the Church of God, and there are few Church of God students at Covenant. That denomination might as well exist on another planet as far as you are concerned, but as I see it, Tonya Craft is a believer who openly is being denied a fair trial, and is fighting for her life while three men and their political allies crush her and her family.
"What can we do?" you ask. Good question. You cannot make House, Arnt and Gregor fear God, for by their actions they demonstrate fully that God is a joke to them, a non-entity. You cannot force House suddenly to start making rulings that apply equally to each side, and you cannot keep Arnt and Gregor from suborning perjury. However, you can BE THERE. Like that elderly woman on oxygen, you and your colleagues can go into that courtroom and make your presence known.
Can you imagine the impact of the president of Covenant College, along with a number of local PCA pastors and members of their congregations walking into that courtroom? Yes, you can do that and let the people there know that you demand that Brian House and those prosecutors conduct a fair trial, and that you are taking names and you will accept nothing less.
Someone who attended the trial this past week made a comment on one of my posts that gives a good account of the real injustice taking place:
Make no mistake, though, Gregor's behavior in general has disgusted me. His open mocking and mimicking of Dr. Lorandos on Friday was appalling. The fact that House just sits and watches it without a single reprimand galls me. That morning, House chided Dr. Lorandos for raising his voice, but I have yet to see him reprimand Gregor who raises his voice every day, is frequently sarcastic and belittling to both the defense witnesses and counsel, and grandstands at some point each day. Friday, it was with the slamming of a court order onto the podium when Dr. Lorandos was standing at it.Is that acceptable to you? Are you going to be silent while this brutality takes place day after day, as these prosecutors engage in reprehensible behavior because no one of any stature or authority -- moral or otherwise -- has bothered to show up in the courtroom?
Tonya takes the stand beginning Wednesday, and you can bet that Gregor especially will be in her face, accusing her of being a lesbian, a slut, a whore, a narcissist, and who knows what else. He will want to follow a line of questioning that is not fit for a civilized courtroom, and certainly violates every norm that Christians such as William Blackstone made the backbone of what once was our legal system. What Gregor won't do is to bring up anything that is substantive about the case, as he will abuse and abuse -- if you let him do it, or you refuse to be present when he shows that brutal side of himself.
Each day, I receive emails from people who do not know Ms. Craft, but who have attended the proceedings. To a person, they tell of abuse of the law, bullying by the prosecutors, and how the prosecutors constantly object to nearly everything presented by the defense attorneys (and House, after looking to Arnt and Gregor for his cues, obediently sustains each objections) and engage in continual disruptive behavior.
You say you want to "do justice," and I think that is wonderful. You and I share the same beliefs and the same theology. However, you don't have to leave the country or even the state to "do justice." The opportunity is right there in front of you, but if you continue to remain silent, her blood will cry out against you.