Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Blog on Brad Wade Case

[Update, Saturday May 29, 2010, 2:30 PM]: I will be off through the weekend. My next new post will be Tuesday morning, June 1. Have a great Memorial Day!

[End Update]

Ever since a Dade County jury convicted her brother three years ago of child molestation, Angie Granger has worked hard to help Brad Wade appeal the conviction and to put out an account that differs with the one prosecutor Len Gregor gave. (Yes, I know everyone is shocked that The Man would help to fabricate a dishonest account of something.)

Angie has launched a blog, "Brad Wade Justice," and I would encourage readers to visit it and make constructive comments. She and her family deserve our support, just as people supported Tonya Craft.

As I have noted before, the Tonya Craft trial did not occur in a vacuum. For many years, prosecutors on Buzz Franklin's staff have been fabricating evidence and police have lied in court in order to push the "keeping the LMJC safe for children" crusade, one that also has a payout in Mondale Act money. In my view, there really is nothing worse than having government officials like Franklin, Gregor, and Chris Arnt who are in positions of power and trust use their authority in order to push lies.

From what I have read, Gregor's father went to West Point, a place that has an honor code. Unfortunately, the son, who learned none of the lessons of honor, is a man of dishonor, a bully, and someone who knowingly targets innocent people and plays the "let's see if I can convict an innocent person" game that apparently defines the man's career. What he did to Brad Wade was an obscenity, and anyone who saw his performance in the Tonya Craft trial can attest that The Man is a narcissist of the highest order.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. It is my fervent hope that the people who gave up their lives in service of their country do not have their memories further sullied by bullies like Len Gregor, who have spit on everything decent and honest and true, narcissists who insist that the truth is a lie and a lie is the truth.

Friday, May 28, 2010

An Open Letter to Judge Marie Williams

In writing this letter to you, Judge Williams, let me first say that I have no intention of trying to appeal to you in the way that I appealed to "judge" Brian House. You have a conscience and a sense of decency, and that makes all the difference. Furthermore, you actually know how to act like a judge, as opposed to House, who apparently is a prosecutor wannabe.

Anyway, I suspect you know why I am writing to you, and I hope that you understand why I am doing this. In many ways, you know much more about this case than I do because you were in on the ground floor in the custody battle between Joal Henke and Tonya Craft. However, much has passed by since this situation started brewing a couple of years ago, and I believe that the true character of the individuals players is well established.

I read in the news that Tonya is formally asking you to have visitation rights with both of her children, and that is quite reasonable, don't you think? Furthermore, there is no question at all about Ms. Craft NOT being a child molester, and it is not just because a jury acquitted her two weeks ago. No, House stacked the deck and he let his two partners-in-crime, Len Gregor and Chris Arnt, run the trial, and the verdict still was a rout.

Furthermore, contra Buzz Franklin, the prosecutors did not put on a "compelling case for conviction," unless it was a "compelling case" against themselves for suborning perjury, knowingly bringing false charges, lying in court, and telling the world that judges and prosecutors in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit are lawless. I could see that, most of Chattanooga could see that, and I am sure that you saw it as well.

The only reason that Ms. Craft has not had personal contact with her daughter these past two years has been because Joal Henke lied, Sandra Lamb lied, Len Gregor lied, Chris Arnt lied, Stacy Long lied, Laurie Evans lied, Suzi Thorne lied (and did she ever lie), Tim "Dirty" Deal lied, and Brian House lied. It was a parade of liars, and you have seen some of those same serial liars laying their droppings in your own courtroom, and you know how much they stink.

Think of what it must be like to be falsely accused, to have Channel 9 sending reporters to your neighborhood to scream, "A Child Molester Lives Here!!" and to be put on trial in an arena that resembles something you would expect to have seen in the U.S.S.R. I'm sure that you and everyone else expected Tonya to be convicted, especially given that the only thing House had not done to ensure a guilty verdict was to instruct the jury that they had to convict her if they wanted to leave the building alive.

Instead, the jurors did the right thing and voted acquittal, and what does this say about the state of "professionals" in an American courtroom? All of the "officials" in that building were claiming Tonya was guilty, from the judge to the bailiffs, yet the "amateurs" there -- the jurors -- saw right through the lies. What does that say when it is the state, the people in charge of "the system," that are the liars?

It doesn't exactly give us hope when we see those in positions of trust and authority trying to outdo each other in who can tell the biggest fib. I would hope that the spectacle that was the Tonya Craft trial would make you a bit ashamed that a fellow judge would spit on justice as did House, but also make you more determined not to be like him.

Well, you have the opportunity to do justice, real justice. Tonya Craft for more than two years has been seeking justice in the courts of Tennessee and Georgia, and so far, the liars seem to have held the upper hand. You and I were brought up to hate lies and not to have anything to do with liars.

Yet, what has Joal Henke done these past two years? He has lied to you, committed perjury while testifying against Tonya in the criminal case, and essentially stolen Tonya's children, lying to them about their mother. (I don't even want to go into the execrable Facebook page that Henke's wife, Sarah, had during the trial in which she was holding Tonya's daughter as her own and thanking God for giving her such a wonderful child.) In a world in which the courts actually engaged in justice, Henke would be in handcuffs and wearing an orange jumpsuit, sharing a cell with Arnt and Gregor.

There has been one person these past two years who has told the truth, and her name is Tonya Craft, yet she also is the one who has to beg the court to let her spend time with her own daughter. Does that not at least bother you? It should bother you, since for the last two years the "justice" system of the State of Georgia has declared that lies are the truth, the truth is a lie, and that liars are more welcome in its courts than those who are truthful. That is beyond a disgrace, and no country, no nation, no people can withstand that kind of assault. The barbarians are not at the gate; no, they are in the city, running its institutions and claiming to be civilized.

So, you have an opportunity to reverse some of the real harm that your fellow jurist and his prosecutors buddies have done. While it is true that you cannot make undone that which has happened, nonetheless you can strike a blow for the truth and a blow for justice.

Is there any justification for further separation of Tonya Craft from her children? I think not, and somehow I believe that you agree. You know how you were brought up and you know the values our teachers instilled in us. This is your moment, and I hope you recognize it and act.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Before Tonya Craft, there was Brad Wade

As I have noted before, the Tonya Craft trial did not occur in a vacuum. The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit has long made prosecution of alleged child molestation a top priority, and Ms. Craft was caught up in that web of deceit and prosecutorial misconduct.

Given the patchwork of lies that prosecutors Len Gregor and Chris Arnt had to put together in an unsuccessful attempt to throw Ms. Craft into prison for life, one would wonder why they believed they could convince a jury she was a child molester. I believe that the success the LMJC had in railroading Brad Wade into prison three years ago -- done pretty much under the radar, unlike the trial against Ms. Craft -- had much to do with the confidence that Buzz Franklin's office had as it rolled over the cliff.

I want to examine the conviction against Mr. Wade over a number of posts, investigating things like the dearth of evidence, the alliance of Gregor (who prosecuted the case) with "judge" Kristina Graham, and the utter dishonest testimony by Stacy Long of the (What else?) Children's Advocacy Center. However, in today's post, I want to explore what I absolutely believe to be true: Gregor never believed Wade had molested anyone, but pushed the trial anyway.

That is a terrible accusation to make against someone, I realize, and if I am wrong, I will have done a major wrong to Gregor. Because I cannot know what was going on in his mind during the trial, in the end all I can do is to surmise rather than have a definite answer. Nonetheless, from everything I can see and have been able to find, I am confident that although Len Gregor has not told me personally that he believed Brad Wade was innocent, nonetheless the facts of the case itself are such that it is hard to draw any other conclusion.

Unlike the case against Tonya Craft, there is the very real possibility that there WAS molestation of a young child. In fact, the three-year-old child who was the subject of part of the trial claimed "the boys" as doing things that clearly were molestation, yet the authorities were not interested. Furthermore, as we saw in the Craft case, there is other testimony from another child that differs wildly within a year's time, after constant questioning from (Who else?) Long.

Yet, why would Len Gregor and the LMJC go after Brad Wade instead of investigating what the child in question originally claimed? It seems to me that the answer is quite simple: there is nothing in it for Gregor if he goes after juveniles. The Big Prize for a prosecutor is to gain a conviction against an adult, not a teenager, and Gregor, who narcissistically refers to himself as "The Man," always likes to get the big enchilada, even if he must be dishonest to do it.

One thing "The Man" was able to do early was to have exculpatory evidence withheld on the basis of "rape shield" laws. Now, the "rape shield" laws were enacted not to keep exculpatory evidence out, but rather to keep the defense from delving into irrelevant aspects of a rape accuser's past. Unfortunately, prosecutors whose motto is "Win at all costs," have found ways to prop up questionable charges by scheming with judges (most of whom are former prosecutors themselves) to keep the jury from hearing information that could acquit someone.

Indeed, that is what happened in the trial against Mr. Wade. Gregor, as we shall see in upcoming posts, teamed with "judge" Kristina Graham to keep important information from the jury, information that certainly might have had an influence on a jury not to rush to the "guilty" verdict. There are a number of irregularities and incidents of misconduct, which would seem to fit any trial which "The Man" prosecuted, and future posts will examine them.

During the Tonya Craft trial, Gregor declared that Mr. Wade's mother, Glenda Shull, who often was in the courtroom, was not there because she cared about the fate of Ms. Craft, but rather "because she hates me." Indeed, after seeing how "The Man" railroaded her son and so many other innocent people, I don't think I would be surprised if Ms. Stull had some negative feelings toward this prosecutor.

(Mr. Wade's sister, Angie Granger, also was in attendance at the Tonya Craft trial, and her appearance also seemed to unnerve "The Man." She has been a tireless advocate for her brother, and one hopes that she will be able to see her brother vindicated.)

My purpose in writing on the Wade conviction is twofold. First, and most important, I believe that Mr. Wade was innocent of the charges and that Gregor either knew he was innocent or should have had his doubts about this case. Second, I want to demonstrate that the prosecutors in the LMJC are out of control and that their "win at all costs" mentality is destroying families, all in the name of "protecting the children," of course.

This is a very sad story. A man sits in prison, and lives are shattered. It did not begin with Tonya Craft, and I will be doing my best to show it does not end with her, either.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tonya Craft's Lawsuit, the Children's Advocacy Center, and the Greenhouse

As readers know, I have been especially hard on the Children's Advocacy Center of the LMJC, as well as the Greenhouse in Dalton. Going through the particulars of the lawsuit Tonya Craft filed in federal court in Rome yesterday, I believe that legal action against these organizations is long overdue. For many years, the CAC and its gaggle of agenda-driven, poorly-trained, and utterly arrogant staff has conspired with dirty cops and dishonest prosecutors to destroy the lives of innocent people.

I pull no punches when it comes to the CAC and the Greenhouse, none, and I firmly believe that justice really will not be served until a number of their staffers are marched into prison to serve the terms that were imposed on the innocent people that they framed. Furthermore, I will say that the agencies in question have no defense at all, and as more and more information come out about how the CAC and Greenhouse staffers were able to get their "disclosures," it will become apparent just how fraudulent their practices really were in their frenzy to "get" Ms. Craft.

The first and most important item is this: What should be the expectations that we have of "interviewers" whose testimony can put someone away in prison for life? Second, what kind of interviewing techniques should they use when questioning children? Third, what kinds of safeguards should be in place to help ensure that people are not wrongfully accused? These are serious questions that psychologists and others involved with children around the country have been asking; the exception seems to be in North Georgia, where SANE Sharon Anderson is using obsolete standards to come up with "highly suspicious" conclusions about sexual abuse exam results, and her contemporaries are even farther behind the curve than she is.

More than 20 years ago, dozens of people who worked with children were falsely accused of child molestation, and some cases were especially egregious in how they were prosecuted. Names like McMartin, Bakersfield, Fells Acre, Little Rascals, and Wenatchee became synonymous with wrongful convictions, prosecutorial abuse, and the perils of agenda-driven criminal law fueled by the Mondale Act of 1974.

Although the abuse claims occurred in different places and involved different people, there were common threads running through the cases. The way that children were interviewed when seen in hindsight was a train wreck waiting to happen. For example, when Janet Reno was pursuing these kinds of cases when she was a prosecutor in Miami, she used a "therapist" couple, Joseph and Laurie Braga, who claimed to be "experts."

The Bragas were the ultimate prosecutorial nightmare, for they would tell jurors that "if a child says 'no,' the child really means 'yes'." Of course, if a child said "yes," that also meant "yes." Therefore, according to Reno and the Bragas, once there was an accusation, the only satisfactory conclusion was that the person in the dock HAD to be a child molester, and they would badger children and repeat questions until the child gave Reno and the Bragas what they wanted to hear. Now, it never occurred to judges in South Florida then that the Bragas were full of nonsense and outright lies; oh, no, they were protecting children!

As many of the hysteria-fueled convictions were overturned, clinical psychologists and others involved in the interviewing of children took a hard look at how interviewers could get children to make what would prove to be outlandish claims about abuse, claims that defied logic, time, space, and simply did not have the accompanying physical evidence that such acts would have left behind.

(In fact, many jurors who heard such nonsense assumed that since the stories were so outlandish, it was "proof that something happened," which was what prosecutors wanted them to believe. If such tactics seem to be outrageous, it is because they were borrowed from the propaganda exercises used by Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Hitler's main propagandist.)

Over time, new standards were developed, and two of the most important people in developing standards of interviewing were Dr. William Bernet and Dr. Nancy Aldridge. If their names are familiar to readers, it is because both of them testified for Tonya Craft.

The fact that the trial saw the interviewing techniques carried out by staff from the Greenhouse and the LMJC CAC being contrasted (unfavorably) with the standards that professionals set in the aftermath of the earlier wave of hysteria should have set off alarms. As Ms. Craft's trial went on, testimony showed that the CAC and Greenhouse interviewers were acting as though they were in a time warp, and it was the 1980s and McMartin all over again.

To make matters even worse, not only did the North Georgia "interviewers" lack proper training and credentials, they seemed to revel in their ignorance. In most courts, a high-school graduate like Thorne trying to claim that she knew more about interviewing children for signs of sex abuse than Dr. Aldridge would be considered a joke that no prosecutor perpetrate on a judge and jury.

In "judge" Brian House's court, however, Thorne was the "expert" (despite the fact that she failed to document or record what supposedly was the most important "disclosure" of the whole investigation) and Dr. Aldridge not only was considered "suspect," but also was accused of committing perjury, and prosecutors labeled her a "liar" and a "whore of the court."

While on the stand, the CAC and Greenhouse interviewers demonstrated a total lack of any professional standards. They rolled their eyes, shrugged their shoulders, gave sarcastic answers, and bragged about their lack of knowledge of current academic and professional literature about their chosen line of work. Their "I don't remember," and "I don't recall" answers contrasted with the clear answers, professional demeanor, and outright knowledge that the defense "experts" demonstrated while on the stand. Certainly the jurors noticed as well.

The problems with the CAC are not limited to the interviewing techniques used by its staffers, as bad as they are. Another serious issue is the professionally incestuous nature of its board and local law enforcement. For example, Buzz Franklin sits on the board of the CAC and heads the organization's finance committee and his "victims' advocate," Vickie Scoggins, also sits on the board.

One of my good friends and researchers spoke to an ADA from another state as well as members of child advocacy groups elsewhere and to a person, they said that this interrelatedness of the prosecutorial players is a huge conflict of interest. Furthermore, the very nature of this interconnectedness casts doubt on other cases in which the testimony from CAC staffers helped put someone in prison.

(The Brad Wade situation comes to mind here, and in Thursday morning's post, I will write my first of what should be many pieces on what I believe is an egregious wrongful conviction. Stacy Long was the CAC "therapist" in that case, and one only can hope that someday this woman will meet the bar of justice, for it is an obscenity that Mr. Wade is incarcerated and Long is free.)

There is something else to consider: this will be the first time that an outside court really will scrutinize the CAC, its standards, its practices, and its incestuous board relationships. For the most part, CAC staffers testify in friendly situations, in which LMJC judges coddle them, prosecutors such as Chris Arnt and Len Gregor pretend as though these "witnesses" are telling the truth, and local defense attorneys either are too cowed from being bullied by the ADAs from Franklin's office or they simply are not familiar with how interviews with children are supposed to be done.

The Tonya Craft trial was the first one to my knowledge in which CAC staffers were forced to justify their interviewing techniques, and it was clear they had no idea on how to respond professionally to a real cross-examination. I can assure the readers that the atmosphere that the CAC and Greenhouse staffers will face in a federal courtroom will not be the lovefest that judges like Brian House, Kristina Cook Graham, and Ralph Van Pelt have provided for them.

Furthermore, no one in federal court is going to be able to get away with calling experts like Dr. Nancy Aldridge and Dr. William Bernet "whores, liars," and other epithets. In short, these CAC staff interviewers are about to enter a legal world that they had no idea even existed, a place where Laurie Evans' arrogance and utter foolishness are not going to be tolerated, and where eye-rolling, shoulder shrugging, sarcastic answers, and giggling will be sanctioned immediately by a judge.

To put it another way, the federal court is not going to accept Thorne's claim that while she might not have a college degree or any real credentials that allow her to do such work, nonetheless she IS qualified because she once spent the night in a Holiday Inn Express.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mommie, Dearest

The blogger Kerwyn generally does not miss very much, and when she contacted me late Monday night, her mind was working in overdrive again. We were discussing the "Sandra Lamb Show" as seen on Channel 3, WRCB-TV, in which she not only seems to commit a racially-motivated assault, but also is not exactly decked out in highest fashion.

(While Lamb's wardrobe definitely seems to be a point of discussion, nonetheless, I will only mention her outfit this one time, as while she might not have the best tastes in fashion, nonetheless, she has even worse tastes when it comes to violating the law.)

Kerwyn notes that Eric Echols is not parked in Lamb's driveway, but on a public road. However, he cannot leave because his way is blocked -- illegally, I might add -- by a car driven by Lamb's minor son. The problem here is that he is acting on orders from Mommie Dearest, who has instructed the minor to break the law in order to detain Mr. Echols against his will.

Don't forget that Lamb originally tried to restrain Mr. Echols in the lawful delivery of a lawful subpoena, and then claims that here "lawyer friend" Chris Arnt had instructed her not to accept the document. Bad choice for both people. First, Arnt as a prosecutor could not be acting as her private attorney, and, second, a prosecutor can get in a bit of trouble for instructing someone to break the law.

So, let us step back for a second and see what we have. Sandra Lamb breaks the law by engaging in a racially-motivated criminal assault, instructs her minor son to break the law, and then claims Arnt was behind it. Given that she already is being sued by Tonya Craft -- and I wholeheartedly endorse her being sued -- it would seem to me that Lamb's legal problems have just begun. Moreover, one can hope that the Georgia State Bar will want to take a look at Arnt's alleged legal transgressions here, not to mention his overall performance in the Tonya Craft trial.

Then there is the arrest of Mr. Echols, who had the good sense to record his conversations with Jerry McDonald. The problem is that the prosecutors now know what was said in that conversation, and that Mr. Echols DID NOT threaten or intimidate anyone, let alone a prosecution witness, yet Arnt, Len Gregor, and Buzz Franklin still are pushing ahead with the felony charges against Mr. Echols.

Obviously, we are headed for a legal train wreck, and in the end, it won't be Mr. Echols who is in legal trouble. Why has this happened? It has happened because the judges and prosecutors of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit have treated the courts as their own little sandbox, and now that some adults are insisting that people in the LMJC play by those rules called The Law, the LMJC players are throwing a temper tantrum.

If you wish to see pathetic rage in action, look again at the video starring Sandra Lamb. However, she is not the only one down there in a childish rage; no, we have seen Franklin, Arnt, Gregor, and Sheriff Phil Summers all make their appearance post-trial, and all of them have acted like pathetic, spoiled children, with Lamb herself in the "Mommy" role.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Not Over, Phil

[Update II, Monday May 24, 9:00 PM]: The long-awaited video of Sandra Lamb committing what legally is called a "hate crime" was aired on Channel 3 tonight, along with an interview with the wrongfully-arrested Eric Echols, who was the target of Lamb's assault and accompanying racial slur. I will be sending that link along with a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, this week, along with a copy to the Georgia Attorney General's Office.

And, if things cannot get any more bizarre in the LMJC, it turns out that "judge" Kristina Cook Connelly Graham let her State Bar membership status go "inactive," and it was officially inactive during the trial and wrongful conviction of Brad Wade in 2007. Whether or not this has any effect on his appeal, I don't know, but it does tell us something about the commitment of the LMJC "judges" to their jobs.

[End Update]

[Update I, Monday May 24, 4:15 PM]: Tonya Craft has filed a $25 million lawsuit against a number of people involved in accusing and trying her. The lawsuit is in federal court. Details are reported by WRCB-TV. The Chattanoogan also has a great story that is well-detailed.

[End Update]

So, Sheriff Phil Summers continues to claim that because he and his friends could not convince a jury to wrongfully convict Tonya Craft, that there is going to be a wave of child molestation all over Catoosa County and maybe the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit. Like his friend Buzz Franklin and ADAs Chris "Facebook" Arnt and Len "The Man" Gregor, he actually seems to believe that people have not caught onto their rigged games.

The article in Sunday's Times-Free Press declares:
A highly publicized child molestation trial and weeks of acrimonious court proceedings could deter parents from bringing suspected abuse cases forward in the future, local officials said.

"I do have a concern about children that are victimized and the families coming forward in the future," Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers said. "Will they be willing to take a chance that their child will be put through the same scrutiny and the same process that we've just seen?"
First, had there been the proper scrutiny when Sandra Lamb and Joal Henke were making claims at the beginning, there would have been no trial. Second, the defense did what the defense should have been doing all along in the child molestation trials held in the LMJC: defend their clients instead of offering them up to the prosecution as so many sacrifices.

Third, if Summers and his friends cannot tell the difference between authentic child molestation and something that has been trumped up by people looking to settle personal scores, with their accomplices at the Children's Advocacy Centers of Northwest Georgia helping to grease the skids by employing rigged "interviews," then I'd hate to see what would happen if someone actually committed a real crime in that district. Fourth, this pity party by Summers and company needs to end, because it is not over for them.

This evening, Channel 3 news is going to broadcast video footage of Sandra Lamb in which she will be shown committing a hate crime, complete with racial slurs against Eric Echols when he legally served a subpoena on her that she refused to take. (She claims that her "attorney friend" Chris Arnt told her not to accept it, and if that is true, then he told her not to obey the law.) Furthermore, people will see that she filed a police report against Mr. Echols that did not square with the events of the day.

Despite the fact that Summers is demanding that no one ever scrutinize any accusations of child molestation in Catoosa County, no matter what the facts of the case might be, it is important to do just that. What Summers really is saying is that he does not care if people are wrongly convicted and sent to prison, just as long as his office and his buddies can look as though they are "protecting" the LMJC from "child molesters," and as long as the district can get Mondale Act money.

I remember right after North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced he was dropping the rape charges against the Duke lacrosse players, the Usual Suspects claimed that women no longer would report they had been raped out of fear of not being believed. Right. In reality, the case had NO effect on the reporting of rape charges, false and true. Business went on as usual.

Likewise, what Summers is claiming is that no matter how flimsy the evidence and how dishonest the prosecution's case might be, a jury MUST ALWAYS convict if someone is charged with child molestation for fear that someone, somewhere, might get away with it. I hate to tell Summer and his partners-in-crime, Arnt, Gregor, and Franklin, that U.S. criminal law still allegedly is based upon protecting the rights of the accused.

Furthermore, the man who influenced U.S. law more than any other person, William Blackstone, once wrote that it was better that "20 guilty men go free than once innocent man convicted." Unfortunately, Summers and the gaggle of prosecutors and judges in the LMJC believe that wrongful convictions are just fine with them, and the more wrongful convictions, the better.

When I first started blogging on the Tonya Craft case, I thought it was an example of overzealous prosecution. Now that I have been intensely writing about this situation for more than six weeks, I realize that I have stumbled onto something that is much more sinister. Wrongful convictions in the LMJC are not the result of overzealousness; they are the result of prosecutors and police who actively target people, frame them, and then go into a self-pitying rage when a jury sees through their dishonesty.

Later today, viewers will see Sandra Lamb committing a criminal act, a crime that is so blatant that even though Summers and the Usual Suspects at Franklin's office will choose to ignore it, federal authorities may not. Furthermore, because Arnt, Gregor, and Franklin insist on pursuing non-existed criminal charges in a racially-motivated case against Mr. Echols, and because Gregor tried to appeal to a racist "Tonya-Craft-is-sleeping-with-a-black-man" line during Ms. Craft's trial, they practically have invited the U.S. Department of Justice to take a hard look at what is happening.

As I said in the title, this case is not over. It is not over for Mr. Echols, for Brad Wade, for a number of other falsely-accused people in the LMJC, and certainly not over for people who have had their fill of this dishonesty. This should be a most interesting week.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Coming This Week

While the Tonya Craft verdict is almost two weeks old, the outrages that prosecutors and judges in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit have been performing as long as anyone can remember are continuing. This week, I will be addressing some of them.

Channel 3 will be running footage of the Sandra Lamb Show on Monday in its 6 p.m. broadcast, and it should be quite interesting. In this video, which is almost 40 seconds long, you will see Lamb assaulting Eric Echols, calling him a "black bastard," and generally continuing in the hallowed legal tradition of Brian House, Christina Cook Graham, Buzz Franklin, Len Gregor, and Chris Arnt. When the video is released, I will link it to this blog.

Certainly, the Eric Echols case will be front-and-center this week, along with the wrongful conviction of Brad Wade that occurred three years ago in Dade County and featured some of the Usual Suspects that so graced "judge" House's "courtroom" when Tonya Craft was on trial. This was a "child molestation" case in which Stacy Long of the (What else?) Chidren's Advocacy Center "interviewed" a child for a long, long time until the child "got it right" and "disclosed."

Furthermore, as the appeals documents I am reading clearly show, prosecutor Len "The Man" Gregor hid exculpatory evidence and he and Graham teamed up to roll Mr. Wade into a conviction and prison. If any reader thinks that the blatant and up-front injustices of the Tonya Craft trial were aberrations, think again.

In other words, the misconduct that defined the Tonya Craft proceedings was not an exception; this is how these people do business, and they have been able to get away with it for years because no one has been able to publicly challenge them. It is my hope that some of us finally can let the rest of the world know what people in the LMJC who have suffered in silence have experienced.

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Stuck On Stupid: The LMJC Prosecutors Continue to Pursue Charges Against Eric Echols

One of the memorable quotes from the award-winning movie "Hoosiers" comes when coach Norman Dale kicks out one of the fathers from practice, telling him that his "coaching days are over." The father replies: "Look, mister, there's... two kinds of dumb, uh... guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and, uh, guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with."

Not surprisingly, the prosecutors of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit are the guys in the living room, and they clearly are stuck on stupid. Why? These people continue to pursue felony charges against Eric Echols, and the longer they persist in this stupidity, the worse it will be for them. Their cover is blown, and there is no way that (1) they can get a conviction, and (2) they can save their careers if they continue in their foolishness.

I know what happens when people get their backs up, and Buzz Franklin, Chris Arnt and Len Gregor are not used to having their heads handed to them. Moreover, their pathetic line that "We lost the Tonya Craft case because the big bad media and the blogs didn't kiss our posteriors" is getting old. Read the comments on the blogs, and read between the lines elsewhere: these guys are done, their game was exposed in that one "not guilty" moment, and now people are wanting answers that these men are not willing to give.

Now, I need to make something clear. I am going to pound home the Eric Echols case. I am going to pound home the absolute wrongful conviction against Brad Wade. I am going to pound home how these people have teamed up with the Children's Advocacy Centers to gain wrongful convictions against people who were and are innocent of the charges against them. I will not be silent until justice is done.

Eric Echols is a good man trying to make an honest living. He is ethical and he is someone I would want on my side if I had to go to war. Thus, I will defend him, and especially will defend him against people I consider to be dishonorable. From what I understand, Len Gregor's father went to West Point. It is quite a shame that the man's offspring is a liar and is dishonest to the core. A man who lives by West Point values would never try to keep exculpatory evidence out of a criminal trial, but the apple in this case apparently fell miles from the tree.

So, let us look again at the charges against Mr. Echols. Arnt and Gregor charged him with three felony charges of "interfering with a witness," despite the fact that he talked to only one prosecution witness, Jerry McDonald. (McDonald apparently denied under oath having talked to Mr. Echols despite the fact that Mr. Echols recorded him. This is something called perjury, but the LMJC is in such sorry, sorry shape that prosecution witnesses are not just permitted to lie, but also apparently are ENCOURAGED to lie on the stand. It seems to me that the large number of churches in that district have had no effect whatsoever upon the fundamental honor of the people who fill their pews.)

The charges stem from two separate things, first, the interview of McDonald, and, second, the delivery of the subpoena to Sandra Lamb. First, there is nothing wrong with someone representing the defense speaking to anyone who might testify against them. Indeed, at that time, McDonald had real reservations about the case, and don't forget that Arnt threatened to charge him with a felony if he veered from the narrative that Sandra Lamb had dictated.

Furthermore, Mr. Echols did not even speak to Kelli McDonald or her daughter, so the notion that he could have "interfered" with their testimony is a mystery, at least to those people who might think that logic should have something to do with the law. However, given that the original charges were based on lies and fantasies, why shouldn't the felony charges against Mr. Echols be based upon the same? At least the Dishonest Duo has been consistent in lying.

Second, there is the Sandra Lamb affair, one that will be even more clear after Channel 3 plays the video recording of Ms. Lamb's alleged racially-motivated assault on Mr. Echols. If a white person is to call an African-American a "black bastard" while assaulting him, it probably is not wise to do it while being recorded, but Lamb figured that because she and Arnt were "good friends," she could break the law and not have to pay a price.

Bad choice. Chris Arnt is not the law, no matter what he might think, and he no longer has any credibility, and his career as a prosecutor is going to end more quickly than he had planned, and if some of us have anything to do with it, his career as a lawyer will be over soon enough as well.

Furthermore, next week I plan to notify a number of people in the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as the Georgia Attorney General that Chris Arnt and Len Gregor encouraged a racially-motivated assault against a law-abiding African-American. Moreover, I also plan tell the authorities that Gregor, during his so-called cross-examination of Tonya Craft, made a racist appeal to an all-white jury by alleging that Ms. Craft had sexual relations with Mr. Echols because they met in a hotel room which (as Gregor breathlessly pointed out) has a bed.

There is no getting around the overt racism in this case. Lamb's racial epithet against Mr. Echols and Gregor's attempt to flame up racial hatred in the jury by falsely alleging a sexual encounter between a black man and a white woman are reason enough for the feds to investigate this "justice" apparatus of the LMJC. We are speaking of a district that when I was in high school supported Ku Klux Klansman J.B. Stoner for governor and was well-known for its overt violent racism not that long ago.

While it is true that the majority of the people of that district have moved well past the racism of their fathers, nonetheless the political and legal leadership of that area still wants to appeal to raw bigotry. Don't forget that while the Today Show was more than happy to claim that the state had a decent case against Tonya Craft, its correspondents will not be so kind to the authorities when it comes to racist behavior by its prosecutors.

Gregor, Arnt, and Franklin erred greatly in bringing its disastrous case against Tonya Craft. I can assure you that whatever errors in judgment they made then are nothing to the error that they are making in trying to wrongfully convict Eric Echols. The longer the charges remain, the longer these men remain stuck on stupid, and the longer they will have to deal with citizens who want them to stop their lying and lawbreaking NOW.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Tonya Craft Trial and the Evisceration of the Rights of the Accused

The Tonya Craft trial did not occur in a vacuum. Prosecutors Chris Arnt and Len Gregor, as well as "judge" Brian House did not suddenly wake up one day and decide to attempt to railroad an innocent person into prison. Moreover, it was not a spur of the moment decision in which House decided to team with the prosecutors in order to deny Ms. Craft even the basic rights of the accused that were handed down to us from our English heritage.

Furthermore, it really is no accident that House denied time and again the introduction of exculpatory evidence that would have made this case an even bigger rout against the prosecution than it already was. In really is no accident that the authorities tried their best to stack the deck in this farce of a trial. No, the table was set long ago.

I relate a speech given by Judge Andrew Napolitano a few years ago at the Cato Institute in which he related how Janet Reno successfully "won" her own "Tonya Craft" trial when she was a state prosecutor in Miami Florida more than 20 years ago. Writes Napolitano:
Political ambition can be a powerful motivating factor for government abuse of our rights. Consider one of the cases that helped propel Janet Reno to national stardom. In 1984, Reno faced a serious challenger in her bid for reelection as Dade County’s state attorney. In August of that year, Frank Fuster and his wife, Ileana Fuster, were arrested for sexually abusing more than 20 children who attended their home daycare center. Reno began the case by soliciting Laurie and Joe Braga, both billed as “child abuse experts” with no psychology training, to interview the children.

The Bragas used suggestive and misleading interview techniques to elicit false accusations from the children in the case. The children were brainwashed with fantasies of sexual abuse involving masks, snakes, drills, and other objects, and eventually came out of the interviews thinking they were victims.

Of all the children alleging sexual abuse against Fuster, Reno’s office only presented physical “evidence” that one child was abused. The prosecution invoked a laboratory test suggesting that a child had tested positive for gonorrhea of the throat. However, the lab test that was performed is very unreliable and often gives false positives. Reno’s agents tested for the family of bacteria to which gonorrhea belongs rather than specifically for gonorrhea; other bacteria that could have caused the false positive are harmless and are frequently found to live in children. Of course, the state ordered the lab to destroy the evidence three days later, thereby preventing the defense from challenging the state’s “evidence.”

Recognizing that the case against Fuster was weak, Janet Reno’s final straw was to torture Ileana Fuster physically and mentally to the point where she could be coerced into implicating her husband. Reno had Ileana isolated from the prison population and placed in solitary confinement, naked. Ileana described her treatment in a 1998 interview: “They would give me cold showers. Two people will hold me, run me under cold water, then throw me back in the cell naked with nothing, just a bare floor. And I used to be cold, real cold. I would have my periods and they would just wash me and throw me back into the cell.”

Late one night, the naked Ileana, according to her lawyer, received a visit in her darkened solitary cell from an intimidating 6-foot-2 woman. The woman told Ileana that she knew that Ileana and her husband were guilty. “But how can that be? We are innocent,” Ileana proclaimed. “Who are you?” “I’m Janet Reno,” the woman said. Ileana repeatedly told Reno that she was innocent, and Reno kept repeating, “I’m sorry, but you are not. You’re going to have to help us.” Reno made several more solitary, nightly visits to the naked Ileana, each time threatening Ileana that she would remain in prison for the rest of her life if she didn’t tell Reno what she wanted to hear.

Finally, Reno hired two psychiatrists from a company called Behavior Changers Inc., who met Ileana 34 times in a one-month period. These psychiatrists claimed to be able to help individuals “recover memories,” but their technique was simply to hypnotize Ileana so that she could be brainwashed into believing that Frank Fuster was a child molester. The coercion eventually worked: with the psychiatrists present and with Janet Reno squeezing her hand, Ileana implicated her husband.

Ileana’s trial testimony against her husband put the final nail in Frank Fuster’s coffin. Reno won the conviction, her reelection bid, her name in the newspaper headlines, and a stepping stone to a position as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. However, Ileana Fuster has repeatedly retracted her confession and testimony, swearing that she and Fuster never abused any of the children, and that her confession was the product of brainwashing.

Yet, thanks to Janet Reno, an Fuster remains incarcerated for 165 years without the possibility of parole.
The reason that Hillary Clinton pushed for Reno to receive her appointment as the U.S. Attorney General was that Clinton said she was "good on children's issues." If promoting false charges and using trickery, lies, and torture in order to promote children, then the people of the United States have a sick notion of what is "good" for children. It is no surprise that a month after taking office, Reno presided over the most bloody government massacre of its citizens since Wounded Knee in 1890; among a large number of victims of the raid organized by this "lover of children" were young children. Perhaps it is not surprising that after Reno said she was "taking responsibility" for this massacre (although she did not resign or do anything that really spelled "responsible"), her standing rose among Americans.

As Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton note in their book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, a book that has heavily influenced my thinking, the law was lost a long time ago in this country because people on all sides of the political spectrum decided that they wanted results over due process of law. Both Clinton and Reno are what one might call political "liberals," yet they favored using the law as a weapon to push what clearly have been false criminal charges.

Likewise, one has only to watch one episode of William O'Reilly on Fox to see someone who believes that once a person is accused, then the law should move directly to the punishment phase. Innocence before the law? Not a chance, at least not with O'Reilly, or his psychotic friends Nancy Grace and Wendy Murphy.

Americans like to think of themselves as people who want results, and they want them NOW. Furthermore, neither Republicans nor Democrats today believe that the Rights of the Accused, once the bedrock of Anglo-American criminal law, should have any meaning. That means that once someone is targeted for prosecution, almost no barriers stand between the state and the individual, no matter how flimsy the evidence might be. The only thing that can prevent a wrongful prosecution is the goodwill and moral compass of the prosecutors.

In the case of Tonya Craft, the prosecutors chose to lie, obfuscate, bully, and disrupt the proceedings. However, for once, the jurors in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit were not impressed, and early on saw that House and the Dishonest Duo were working closely together, something that rubbed against their own view of fairness.

And what was the reward for following the law and their consciences? Oh, the jurors were called out in a most shameful way by LMJC DA Buzz Franklin, who decided that the rules that govern his office were to be suspended. Keep in mind that prosecutors in this country are so powerful, that if all of them have the moral rectitude of Franklin, Arnt, and Gregor, then there is no hope at all for the law because no one can stand up to people who have near-unlimited resources and who are fully immune from lawsuits or prosecution even when they break the law themselves.

No doubt, House, Franklin, Arnt, and Gregor admire what Reno did in the Furster case and wish they could have done the same with Tonya Craft. However, there still is some decency left in the LMJC, although it is not because any of the elected or appointed officials in that mix have any intention of being beholden to the law. There is decency only because jurors like those in the Tonya Craft trial recognized their duty before God and their fellows.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Taking Thursday Off: I'm Grading Papers; Future Posts

[Update, Thursday 11:05 AM]: Eric Echols was a guest today on WGOW-FM, and I will say the guy gave a tour de force interview. As I have said before, if Chris Arnt and Len Gregor continue to push these false charges -- and they ARE false charges -- they only will dig their hole deeper.

Here is the link to the interview. As you will note, it is quite interesting. On an editorial note, I will say that Mr. Echols has conducted himself quite honorably throughout this ordeal, and I along with a lot of other people will not let this issue go until the authorities in Catoosa County drop the charges.

[End Update]

This is finals week here at Frostburg, and I am grading term papers and final exams for my MBA economics class. (Yes, I do have a day job and my superiors expect me to turn in my work on time!)

Future posts will deal with Eric Echols and the bogus case against him, as well as serious questions about the validity of the conviction that Len Gregor gained against Brad Wade three years ago. I have received a number of documents on that case which raise real doubts as to the veracity of the interviews by (You guessed it) the CAC staff, and Gregor's steamrolling of the defendant. There also are other child molestation cases from the LMJC that are questionable, and I will look into those.

I'll also be posting on the case for disbarment of Chris Arnt and Gregor, explaining the rules of the State Bar of Georgia and how I believe these men have violated them. I'm sure there will be other developments, too.

In other words, even though Tonya Craft's acquittal is more than a week back in our rear-view mirrors, nonetheless the whole case opened a window into the sorry and execrable practices of those in the LMJC that supposedly enforce and follow the law. So, stay tuned. There's plenty more to cover.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is there Criminal Activity in the Craft Case?

Tonya Craft has been acquitted of criminal charges, but as I look over this sorry case, I cannot help but wonder if some real crimes were committed. No, I have not changed my story, as I believe Tonya was innocent of committing any transgressions, but it is obvious to me that lawbreaking abounded, but by the people supposedly upholding the law.

The law protects judges and prosecutors, giving them immunity that, frankly, I don't believe they should have, but, to quote Mr. Bumble, if that be the law, sir, the law is a ass. Nonetheless, I believe that a lot of criminality abounded.

In this post, I will concentrate on federal criminal law, as I admit I know it better than I know state law. (As I see it, the only real remedy on the state level is for the prosecutors to face disbarment and Judge Brian House to be reprimanded or censured.)

Federal prosecutors tend to concentrate on fraud, and I have plenty of examples of how fraud has abounded in this case, and my others that are similar. First, and most important, Buzz Franklin has not targeted "child molestation" in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit because he loves children (although he might like kids). No, Buzz has targeted this area of prosecution because there is a federal payout through the Mondale Act of 1974.

Second, child molestation charges are not difficult to prosecute, no matter what the authorities might tell you, especially when a one-stop prosecutorial shopping opportunity like the Children's Advocacy Centers are available. It is important to remember than is about 75 percent of valid child molestation cases, no physical evidence is available. Thus, it boils down to the word of a child against the word of an adult.

Before the Mondale Act took effect, this could be a difficult matter, but the federal government pushed states into easing the rules regarding the ability of someone being charged to face an accuser, which is one of the fundamentals of criminal law. Furthermore, to help children who testified to avoid trauma, the rules on hearsay evidence were loosened in these kinds of cases.

Thus, someone accused of child molestation has an uphill fight. In the aftermath of the Tonya Craft trial, it is easy to see that the prosecution's case was flimsy or even non-existent, yet Ms. Craft had to spend a half-million dolllars to fight the charges, and that money did not come close to covering the real costs of the defense.

What the prosecution did in this case was what it has done in a number of other child molestation cases in the district: trot out the "experts" at the CAC, who dutifully testify that the child in question "disclosed" this or that, and the guilty verdict is almost a given. Just ask Brad Wade and his family.

So, where does the federal fraud come it? Don't forget that the CAC and the LMJC receive federal dollars for their efforts. There really is a federal payout for pursuing such "crimes," and Buzz Franklin and his cohorts have aggressively sought this funding.

However, what if it is demonstrated that the prosecutors and the CAC "witnesses" are pursuing false cases or lying on the witness stand? Suddenly, we can see that they are engaging in financial fraud, federal style. Furthermore, most federal criminal laws don't even require intent, or mens rea. (This is another example of how federal criminal law has eviscerated our legal rights, but that is a different post for a different topic.)

In other words, if the LMJC and the CAC are engaging in questionable legal activity in order to help snare federal dollars, they have committed fraud. Furthermore, because of the necessary meetings of individuals who are helping to pursue criminal cases, a federal prosecutor would not have to look far to find evidence of conspiracy, which, like fraud, also carries draconian penalties.

Then there would be the criminal charge of "conspiracy to deprive Tonya Craft of her civil rights to a fair trial" and beyond. In other words, should a U.S. attorney choose to investigate this case -- and I have my doubt that the feds will launch such an investigation -- there is plenty to find.

Moreover, there is the attack by Sandra Lamb on Eric Echols, complete with racial epithets, which might interest a federal prosecutor as a "hate crime." Since she violated federal law in refusing to accept a legally-ordered subpoena, Ms. Lamb could be facing some legal problems of her own.

To put it another way, I have scratched the surface of real-live criminal behavior by the authorities and their allies in the Tonya Craft case. There is much more, but for now I think we can concentrate on the few ideas I have listed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More on Echols and the Interviews

On Monday afternoon, a couple of Chattanooga television reporters watched video recordings starring none other than Sandra Lamb. In the videos, she assaults Tonya Craft's private investigator, Eric Echols, as he tries to serve a subpoena to her.

During her assault, Lamb called Mr. Echols a "black bastard," which obviously has some racial connotations, and because she was physically assaulting him while using racial slurs, that constitutes what is known as a "hate crime," which has severe penalties. To make matters worse, it is against federal law to attack someone who is in the process of delivering a lawful subpoena.

To put it another way, Sandra Lamb and others might have some legal problems, especially if organizations like the Georgia NAACP find that prosecutors Chris Arnt and Len Gregor tolerated a racially-motivated attack on Mr. Echols, but then arrested him because he was finding information that would undermine their case against Ms. Craft. At the present time, Arnt and Gregor insist that the trumped-up criminal case of "interfering with a witness" felony case against Mr. Echols will go to trial, but I cannot help but wonder if they are whistling past the graveyard.

If these videos are broadcast on the air, the response should be most interesting.

Speaking of videos, the appearance of Sandra Lamb on WRCB-TV to further accuse Ms. Craft of molesting her daughter caught the interest of someone who examines things like body language and eye movement in order to ascertain if that person is telling the truth. The person examined the video and reached a most interesting conclusion (which I won't share here, but will say that I doubt Lamb would like what she said) based upon the fact that Lamb's eyes moved in certain directions when she said certain things.

The same person also viewed the videotapes of Arnt and Gregor as they were given a very friendly interview on (Where else?) Channel 9 (whose reporters apparently are hoping that the jury will announce a guilty verdict a week after the acquittal). The analyst noted the lack of eye contact and eye movement as the two men answered the friendly questions, and also drew some conclusions that perhaps these prosecutors might not want to hear.

As I wrote during the trial, the people who brought this case, the people who tried it, and the judge who oversaw it all are going to be undergoing continuing scrutiny. Just because they were successful in running away from tiny Callie Starnes of Channel 3 as though she were Goliath carrying a spear does not mean they can hide forever.

I will go one step further: professionally speaking, Brian House, Chris Arnt, Buzz Franklin, and Len Gregor are dead men walking. If they continue to pursue the bogus charges against Mr. Echols, and especially if they continue to use the racially-charged rhetoric that Gregor and Lamb brought into this mix, they only will make things worse for themselves.

They will continue to lose what little credibility they had, as local people come to realize that they have been pushing fraudulent charges and teaming with local judges to bully innocent people into prison. The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit has a 98 percent conviction rate, which is well above what is seen in most districts. I can assure readers that this rate is not due to the great skills of the prosecutors or the ability of judges to see through the criminality of those who are charged.

I will leave it to the readers to determine just why the conviction rate is so high.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Eric Echols: Another Victim of the LMJC Prosecutorial Machine

[Update, Monday May 17, 3:55 PM]: Kevin West of WGOW has a very good blog post on Buzz Franklin's recent pronouncement that the media and the bloggers deprived his poor prosecutors of a "fair trial."

I also like Kevin's May 14 post following the verdict. He makes an excellent point here:
A source whose family member was a juror tells me it was clear to the panel from Day 1 that the judge and prosecution were working together on this case. It shocked that juror since, in that juror’s non-legal common sense mind, that juror believed the judge’s job was to ensure that both sides got to present their cases in as much detail as they were able and let the jury sort through the facts.
Both are excellent reads and come highly-recommended.

[End Update]

While a Catoosa County jury recently acquitted Tonya Craft of transparently false charges, there are other people in the LMJC who either await trial on false charges or have been convicted of such. One of those victims is Eric Echols, and his story demonstrates just how lawless the prosecutors in Buzz Franklin's office have become. (I have been informed that it is the LMJC, C for circuit.)

Mr. Echols, an African-American and former U.S. Marine, is a private investigator who is based in Atlanta. Ms. Craft's lawyers hired him to help investigate the charges against their client, as well as to deliver subpoenas in the civil child custody case involving Ms. Craft and her ex-husband, Joal Henke.

A capable man, Mr. Echols managed to record Jerry McDonald when McDonald said that he had serious doubts about the child molestation charges against Ms. Craft, and Mr. Echols had found out other things as well. While the laws regarding prosecutors say that they should be striving to find out the truth, the prosecutors of the LMJD believe otherwise, and anyone who finds the truth -- and, thus, stands in the way of the prosecutors -- must be destroyed.

Last year, Mr. Echols delivered a subpoena to Sandra Lamb as part of the Craft-Henke civil case. According to witnesses, Lamb threw the subpoena into the yard and then started calling Mr. Echols a "black bastard." (I incorrectly had claimed earlier that Lamb called Mr. Echols the N-word, but he corrected me on that point in a conversation I recently had with him.)

That was not all. As he got into his car to drive away, she stood in front of the vehicle so he could not leave, and then she went to his car. His window was open, and according to Mr. Echols, Lamb began to punch him. He drove to the Catoosa County sheriff's office to report the assault -- and was arrested later for "interfering with a witness" because he had interviewed McDonald. (The entire Lamb encounter, by the way, is recorded and Lamb cannot deny using a racial slur.)

Now, one must understand that it is legal to serve subpoenas, but in the LMJD, Franklin's prosecutors make up the law as they go along. Furthermore, the arrest of Mr. Echols took him out of the investigative loop, as it was obvious he was finding material that would weaken the prosecutors' case.

At present time, Mr. Echols is slated to be tried in September, and if convicted, he would face up to five years in prison. Anyone who knows the law knows these charges are contrived, and they smack of what Michael Nifong tried to do four years ago after it became known that Moez Elmostafa, a cabbie in Durham, North Carolina, had picked up Reade Seligmann at the very time that Nifong claimed Reade was raping Crystal Mangum. Nifong contrived charges against Elmostafa, but the African immigrant stood his ground and ultimately was acquitted of criminal charges.

Prosecutors who would do such a thing are people who will stop at nothing to get a conviction. This goes against every law and every ethical code in the State of Georgia, but so far Franklin, Chris Arnt, and Len Gregor have been allowed to run wild, smashing the law as they go.

One might remember that Gregor, in his cross-examination of Ms. Craft, accused her of having a sexual affair with Mr. Echols. His proof? She had met him in a hotel room and the room, Gregor astutely observed, has A BED. Thus, according to Gregor's twisted logic, if one is in the room with someone else and the room has a bed in it, then the people automatically have a sexual encounter. (The possibilities are endless, but I prefer not to go there.)

Furthermore, because Mr. Echols is African-American, Gregor was trying to play a racial angle to inflame jurors by claiming Ms. Craft was SLEEPING WITH A BLACK MAN. This is something one might expect from a Scottsboro Boys Trial prosecutor, not someone in the year 2010, but there it is.

(Gregor's theory had one huge whole in it. Mr. Echols' wife also is a PI, and given her skills, she would have found out about such a tryst and then the prosecution by Facebook and The Man would have been the least of Mr. Echols' problems. Mr. Echols might be aggressive as a PI, but he is not stupid.)

So, while Ms. Craft is free, nonetheless the work goes on because Buzz Franklin's office cares only about convictions and his ADAs will tell any lie necessary to "win." Thus, while Franklin might brag about his "98-percent conviction rate," it is obvious to a lot of us that such a rate is obtained only because the "win at all costs" mentality that governs the LMJD has been permitted to go on unabated. No more.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Buzzare" Franklin Attempts to Intimidate Future LMJD Juries

[Update, Sunday May 16, 1:20 PM]: The Times-Free Press has a good story today on Tonya Craft and the long legal road she faced. I still am waiting to see a story that addresses the many legal abuses committed by the prosecution, an analysis of "judge" Brian House's rulings, and the outright prosecutorial misconduct that occurred regularly during the trial.

[End Update]

Even though I addressed "Buzzare" Franklin's attack on some local newscasters and me in a previous post, nonetheless as I re-read this press release, I realize that there is much, much more than his crying crocodile tears because a jury saw through the state's non-existent case against Tonya Craft.

For all of the attacks on the media (except Channel 9) for not kissing the posteriors of Len Gregor and Chris Arnt, the real target of his rant was those who will serve on future juries in the LMJD. Getting past the silly language, what we find is a naked attempt at juror intimidation, and that is illegal. (Granted, prosecutors in the LMJD and much of Georgia don't see the need to follow the law when they get to be the law themselves.)

Let us re-examine some of what Franklin said in order to take a closer look at what I mean. He first declares:
I was disappointed with the verdict in the Tonya Craft case. The State presented a strong and compelling case to support a conviction, however, the jury chose to acquit her and we must accept this decision. Unlike a defendant, the State has no right of appeal. However, we need not agree with the verdict.
What is he doing? He is accusing the jury of not recognizing "strong and compelling" evidence, except that the "evidence" was not "strong and compelling" at all. Here is a supposedly seasoned prosecutor who cannot even recognize the difference between the truth and perjury, and that means he no longer is able to differentiate between truth and lies.

Let us look at his second attack on the jurors:
Child molesters rarely commit their crime in public. Child molesters rarely confess. Child molesters are rarely caught on tape. Child molesters rarely leave behind physical evidence. A jury must often make a choice between the testimony of an abused child and the alleged perpetrator. If a jury refuses to convict without videotapes, confession or physical evidence, it will be impossible to convict most child molesters.

It was particularly troubling in this case to hear statements attributed to some jurors that they looked at the defendant and decided she just didn't look like someone who would commit such a crime. We must necessarily base our cases on the evidence and not how a defendant looks. We do not simply prosecute those who fit the unsavory profile a juror might have.
First, note that the jurors did NOT say afterward that they failed to convict because they had no videotaped "evidence" of Tonya Craft molesting children, nor did anyone say that they BASED his or her decision upon her looks. What "Buzzare" has done is to twist the words of some jurors to make it look as though they believed they were judges of a beauty contest.

Indeed, the Catoosa County News has an excellent article in which one of the jurors speaks plainly about his belief that Arnt was lying:
“That fella that closed things for them (lead prosecutor Chris Arnt), he lied about testimony, trying to confuse us…. and every one of us caught it too.”
There was no talk of Ms. Craft's looks or anything that "Buzzare" claims in his press release. The jury looked at the evidence that was presented to them. Then he said this:
“That tall prosecutor (Len Gregor), he wanted it so bad, and he kept getting mad when something went different than the way he wanted it. The evidence just wasn’t there and they found it out the hard way.”
Second, for all of the "compelling" evidence, it was not hard for jurors to see that the behavior of the children while describing unspeakable acts did not reflect the concern that someone who really had been molested would be demonstrating. Third, Arnt and Gregor constantly bullied the defense counsel and their witnesses.

I received a number of emails from people who attended the court sessions and to a person they wrote of the outright bullying and outlandish behavior of the prosecutors. One person gave this account to me:
I went to court yesterday to see if what everyone was saying was true. Not only was the behavior of the prosecution dead on...the judge was acting like an absolute jerk. I was shocked every time Gregor and Arnt would throw up their arms in disgust, throw their head back and at other times, act as if they would surely fall asleep if their hands were not propping their heads up. Gregor is so condescending to the defense attorneys and the defense witnesses.

But,..it got better. When a witness was on the stand, Gregor blurted out this line of questioning.

Gregor: So, has Tonya ever "stroked your boobs"? She emphatically said "NO!"

Gregor: So, are you saying Tonya has never stroked your boobs while sitting on your lap? She emphatically said "NO!"

Gregor: Has Tonya ever made reference to your boobs. The witness said, "At Tonya's wedding, I had on a dress that showed some cleavage...Tonya said to me (jokingly), Wow, you have really big Boobs!!!

Gregor says: "Are you sure that Tonya was not sitting on your lap, stroked your boobs and said, "Wow, I
don't ever need to get a boob job when I have these to play with !!!" The witness said "Absolutely NOT"

Then a little later, Gregor asked her, "Do you know what sound is made when a finger touches a vagina"
The witness looked mortified and shook her head NO...he repeats the question...the witness continues to shake her head NO in total disbelief that he is asking this question. Gregor then closes with the statement that "it doesn't make a noise and if the child doesn't say anything, NO ONE WOULD EVER KNOW!!!"

There were so many objections by the defense during this questioning...but our "dishonorable" Judge House let the blood hound continue on.

He (Gregor) is so Crude and Inappropriate!!!
This kind of behavior went on day after day. Prosecution "expert" witnesses acted like spoiled children by rolling their eyes, giving smart-ass answers to legitimate questions, and then claiming to be proud that they never read any of the literature on their line of work. Furthermore, the "experts" for the prosecution either did not document their work at all, or did it poorly, and their "recovered memories" on the stand really crossed the line from shading the truth to outright lying.

Yet, why does "Buzzare" insist that these witnesses were paragons of truth and that Dr. Nancy Aldridge, a defense expert who generally testifies for the prosecution and is one of the most respected expert witnesses in Georgia, was a "whore of the court" and a person who "lies for money"? The reason is simple, and he is sending a very strong message to jurors that will hear further child molestation cases in the LMJD.

What is the message? Is is this: From now on, there will be NO verdicts of "not guilty," no matter how ridiculous the prosecution's case might be. Let me be frank: Buzz Franklin is engaging in an overt campaign of intimidating jurors.

Why would he call out jurors who did their job? According to the standards for prosecutions of the American Bar Association, what he did clearly violates ALL ethical guidelines. Let us look at the following standard:
Standard 3-5.10 Comments by Prosecutor After Verdict

The prosecutor should not make public comments critical of a verdict, whether rendered by judge or jury.
Because the Georgia standards are based upon the ABA guidelines, one can assume correctly that "Buzzare" also violated the state rules that govern his office. Prosecutors are NOT supposed to engage in any kind of juror intimidation, ever, yet that is exactly what Franklin is doing.

Friday's press release clearly steps well beyond the bounds of all ethical guidelines and demonstrates further just why I believe the LMJD is pretty much a lawless entity. Judges don't seem to care about the law, and the conduct of Brian House was as bad as any I have seen in a judge during a trial.

In many states, prosecutors would be disciplined at the very least and perhaps disbarred at worst for making the statements that "Buzzare" made in his post-verdict press release. It is frightening to me that a prosecution believes himself to be so far above the law that he can intimidate jurors and tell them the following: If MY office says someone is guilty, you sure as heck had better vote guilty, or I will call you out following the verdict.

There is no other message. You have seen a public display of juror intimidation by an elected DA, and if he is permitted to get away with it, things only will become worse in Northwest Georgia, as there will be no justice at all in the "justice" system.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

An Open Letter to Buzz Franklin

[Update, Saturday May 15 8:50 AM]: The prosecutors' pity party has begun. Channel 9 (Who else?) has interviewed Len Gregor and Chris Arnt and both men claim that more children will be molested in the future because of the Tonya Craft verdict. I cannot get myself to watch this pathetic interview in which I understand the 9 reporter almost breaks into tears himself, but I am making the link available for those readers and viewers with strong stomachs.

[End Update]

Buzz,

I really want to thank you for that immature and imbecilic press release you released on Friday, May 14. Granted, I was told about it just before I was to sing Faure's Requiem at our Cumberland Choral Society concert, but you didn't ruin the evening, although I might be tempted to blame you because I held a quarter note a bit too long and was not ready for the next note. However, I will refrain from pointing the finger. I just screwed up, Buzz, and I'll take the responsibility.

It was tough singing the Kyrie while realizing that you blamed me for Tonya Craft going free, but I'll have to live with it. However, given that you have made your statement, I am going to make mine. That I have decided to spend this evening sipping red wine and writing a reply is proof positive that I really have no life, although right now, I would rather be in my shoes than in yours.

My first reaction to reading this statement was this: YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS! I mean, is this a joke? Do you realize how ridiculous this two-page fax really is? But, you are serious, so it is time for me to put on my serious cap, too. (Right after another sip of wine. I couldn't make it to the CAC-LMJD tonight and enjoy the cash bar -- and the girls in thongs, or pink leotards, and Elvis -- so this is the best I can do.)

So, Buzzer, let us go through this thing that you sent. (I need another drink, Buzz, as it is hard to be serious when reading this nonsense.) Before going through this silly press release, let me tell you first to get a life. You lost a case you never should have brought to trial, and just because your crack prosecutorial team of Facebook and The Man could not convince a jury to convict does not mean you need to go silly on me.

However, you did tell some whoppers, and I don't like it when Officers of the Court tell whoppers, so I am going to wade through this nonsense. (Really, I am. But first, another drink.)

First, and foremost, Buzz, the state's case sucked. My gosh, when you put high school graduates who "just remember" important details on the stand, and their testimony does not pass the smell test, and it is clear they are lying -- that's called PERJURY, Buzz -- then you don't have a case. You had lies, Buzz, and your code of ethics says you can't do that.

Tell you what. Before I go any further, let me give you the link to the Code of Rules and Ethics from the Georgia State Bar. You need to read it, and then get back with me. (That's worth another drink. Give me a minute to compose myself. The stuff I'm drinking is pretty darned cheap, surely not as good as what was served at the CAC fundraiser.)

We can cover that list later, but for now, we need to move on, as readers are going to get tired, and you know what that means: they stop reading, Buzz, and we don't want that to happen, do we?

Don't give me this "right of appeal" crap, Buzzie Boy. Your district has a very suspicious 98 percent conviction rate, and that alone should be enough to warrant a visit from the fellows at the U.S. Department of Justice. So, quit crying about how unfair it is that you could not throw an innocent person in prison for the rest of her life.

Let us deal with the local press coverage before we deal with my blog, for you were referring to it, weren't you Buzz? Hey, what did you want? Channel 9 was in the tank the whole time, kissing the posteriors of Chris Arnt and Len Gregor. I mean, how can it get better?

Oh, and just because Melydia Clewell had some doubts about the majesty of your case, your boy Gregor CALLED HER OUT while court was in session and threatened her? Give me a break, Buzz. These people have no duty at all to think that every case you bring into court is sound. They don't work for you, Buzz, period. You need to understand that Ms. Clewell, who is more intelligent than you ever will be, is a taxpaying Georgia citizen, and you work for her. You are NOT her master, no matter what you and your fellow prosecutors might think.

So, let us deal with the next paragraph, which is a doozie:
Combined with the dynamics of the internet blogosphere, it created an environment hostile to the State's ability to receive a fair trial and portrayed the victims and their families in a false and negative light. This was an integral, purposeful and shameless part of the defense strategy. This will result in child victims and their supportive family members refusing to come forward for fear of a similar portrayal in the public. My office has never tried cases in the media and we won't start now.
Buzz, give me a break. This is pathetic.

First, and most important, I always thought that Tonya Craft was on trial, not you, although I will make an editorial comment and say that since you have put yourself on trial, I would love to see you, Arnt, and Gregor in the dock for committing crime after crime. And, I would be quite happy not to see you get a fair trial, since fair trials don't exist in the LMJD.

Buzz, since you are a DA, let me teach you something about the law: IT IS UP TO THE STATE TO HOLD A FAIR TRIAL. Furthermore, Buzz, the defense had NOTHING to do with me.

There was a gag order, place by Gregor and Arnt, er, Brian House, acting on behalf of Gregor and Arnt, who ran the trial. Prosecutors aren't supposed to run trials, but from what I saw, the animals were in charge of the zoo, and the parrot sitting in the judge's chair kept saying, "Awk. Awk. He's on cross, He's on cross!" whenever one of your boys was berating a defense witness.

I need to let you know that NEVER DURING THE TRIAL, I had ANY contact with the defense. None. That means zip, nada, none. You called me a liar, Buzz, and I don't like that.

You know, the defense lawyers were honorable, damned honorable. They did not have unreported ex parte meetings with House, like your employees. They faced hostility that they never have faced before.

Second, are you telling me that it is perfectly acceptable for prosecutors to make noises, catcall, roll their eyes, mimic the defense attorneys, write comments disparaging the defense on Facebook pages and utterly disrupt the proceedings? Buzz, have you ever read the rules on "disrupting the tribunal"? It's on video, Buzz, and your boys have nowhere to hide.

And give me a break about the poor "victims'" families. I have seen Sandra Lamb in action, and after she committed perjury on the stand (telling us her daughter had not received acting lessons), I really lost any sympathy I might have had for her. Why you and your boys decided that they had to go all out to please this person, I never will know.

I won't deal with the recusal motion except to say that I have talked to other prosecutors, and they tell me that House should have taken a powder, even given his minor role. Appearances matter, Buzz, they really do. However, given that he always was looking to Arnt and Gregor for instructions on what to do next, I can understand why he hung around.

Let's talk about discovery, Buzz. Let's talk about the way that the prosecution kept out exculpatory evidence, such as Dr. Ann Hazzard's sessions with Tonya Craft's daughter, as Dr. Hazzard noted that LAST FALL Tonya's daughter STILL had not made any claims of sexual abuse to her.

Yes, this would have blown up Arnt's and Gregor's timeline, and, no, they could not have that. I mean, what is a trial in the LMJD if the prosecutors actually have to tell the truth? That is so unfair of those mean, nasty, defense attorneys who actually have expectations that prosecutors don't lie. (Time for another sip. It's your fault, Buzz. You are driving me to drink.)

The state went "above and beyond" discovery rules? What are you smoking, Buzz? The state introduced a ton of "I just remembered" evidence from Joal "I Just Remembered" Henke to Suzi "I Just Remembered" Thorne. It was perjury, Buzz, and your prosecutors suborned it, and House put it into evidence, so spare me this nonsense of the gracious prosecution.

As for Tonya Craft being a "child molester," let's talk seriously here. The jury said it believed she was NOT a child molester, and that is that. (And Arnt and Gregor knew it, too, but they knowingly brought a false case, which is a crime.)

So, now let us talk about that jury you slandered in your press release. First, the jurors swore they did NOT read the papers or my blog, so for you to claim that my blog influenced them is to accuse those jurors of committing perjury. Are you ready to charge them with crimes, Buzz? If not, then shut up. They did their job; you did not do yours, which was doing justice.

Second, those jurors saw your boys in action, and it was not pretty. The outcome was never in doubt, as the jurors saw through your ruse. Furthermore, your boys chose to call Dr. Nancy Aldridge, one of the most RESPECTED AND IMPORTANT prosecution witnesses in the state a "whore of the court" and someone who "lies for money."

OK, Buzz, are you ready to say that other prosecutors in Georgia and elsewhere who have used Dr. Aldridge to testify for their side are suborning perjury? Your people claimed that Dr. Aldridge committed perjury, lying on the stand. Are you ready to back up their claim and to call your fellow Georgia prosecutors liars? Can you handle that, Buzz? If the answer is no, then you need to understand just what you and that crack team of Facebook and The Man have done.

But it gets even better, as your statement really is the Gift That Keeps On Giving. Let us look at the following statement: My office has never tried cases in the media and we won't start now.

Uh, Buzz, have you ever heard of Rules 3.6 and 3.8 from your state's own rules for attorneys -- and that covers you and your boys? I have in front of me two things that Arnt said, both in violation of those rules.

First, there is the Facebook statement that Arnt made on January 27, 2010. Let me quote from what he put down in what is legally a PUBLIC forum: "Chris A. Arnt is wondering of Tonya Crafts lawyers are really insane of (sic) just trying to jack uo (sic) her defense bill?"

Now, why would Arnt make such a statement that violates the rules of conduct for prosecutors? Hmm, maybe he was trying to influence readers, which also would mean he was trying to influence future jurors in the case. Furthermore, a PROSECUTION WITNESS, Holly Nave Kittle, made a "thumbs up" notation on that Facebook page, which also violates the rules. Second, lest you think this is the only time Arnt made public disparaging remarks about Ms. Craft and her counsel, we also have this gem from the March 8 Catoosa News:
Craft’s four-attorney defense team, lead by Chattanooga lawyer Clancy J. Covert, argued in motions Monday that prosecutor Chris Arnt should be dismissed because he influenced a witness by advising Catoosa County sheriff Phil Summers to dismiss a subpoena; he told the media that Craft was “acting guilty” by taking her case public; and he talked about the case on his Facebook page.
And, you are trying tell us that your "honorable" prosecutors did not try this case in the media? Buzz, no prosecutor is permitted to declare to the media that a defendant is "acting guilty" by seeking to defend herself.

Are you aware that people are legally entitled to a defense in the United States and in the State of Georgia? (Oh, I forgot, one of the counties in the LMJD called itself the "State of Dade" and only declared itself as part of the USA in 1948. Maybe the "State of Dade" formulated new laws regarding criminal law, and your office goes by those laws. Or, maybe your office is a proud holdout of the old Soviet Union.)

So don't tell me that your office does not "try a case in the media." That is EXACTLY what Arnt was doing, and you and he were hoping that your office could put enough out there to influence jurors to have voted "guilty" in their minds even before the trial began. Are you aware that according to Rule 3.5(a), trying to influence a jury by the means done by Arnt can be considered grounds for disbarment?

It gets better, Buzz, if that is possible. When Ms. Craft was on the stand, Len Gregor openly accused her of not "cooperating with the investigation" because she would not be interviewed by the police unless she had an attorney present. Now, maybe it is because of the "State of Dade" influence or maybe because you learned your legal theories at Leningrad State University, but according to the U.S. Supreme Court's reading of the U.S. Constitution, what Tonya Craft did in securing counsel is fully within the bounds of U.S. law.

And, let me continue. There were a number of examples of the prosecutors falsifying evidence on behalf of your goons, and falsifying evidence also is grounds for disbarment. You want an example? Let me give you one.

Do you remember when Suzi Thorne testified that one of the children had "disclosed" an alleged sexual molestation action by the defendant AFTER Thorne had concluded the interview with her? She then claimed that while she did nothing to document or memorialize this supposedly momentous event, that she believed a detective had done it, but she could not remember who it was. (Oh, I forgot, you were to busy Saving the LMJD From Evil Elsewhere to attend any sessions.)

Well, it was Tim Deal to the rescue, wasn't it? Unfortunately, this alleged memorialized event had no documentation, even from Deal, in the discovery materials prior to the trial. However, that weekend, Voila! The "document" SUDDENLY APPEARED! Yes, Buzz, deus ex machina! Except that one did not pass the smell test. Instead, it was patently obvious that your boys manufactured "new evidence," which also violates the rules and can result in disbarment.

In fact, Buzz, had there been a conviction (and this jury, even with your goons running the trial, did not come close to convicting Ms. Craft), that accusation in open court before a jury would have been enough for an appellate court to overturn a guilty verdict. Let me put it another way: Not only did your office try the case in the media before the trial, but then your office openly and publicly called a very important person who often is a PROSECUTION witness in the State of Georgia a liar, and then one of your prosecutors openly declared that having legal counsel is a violation of the law.

Buzz, you need to read your law books. Maybe you need a refresher course, or maybe you need to stop confusing the laws of Nazi Germany with the laws of the USA and the State of Georgia.

I'll tell you what I will do, Buzz. I had stated that I would make it my mission in life to seek the disbarment of Arnt and Gregor. But, since you wrote this ridiculous and pathetic press release, I think I will turn in your name, too. Anyone who thinks like this, and who tries to put something over on the public really does not need to be practicing law.

So, while I know this is your last term in office, I will seek to have your license pulled altogether. Since you don't even know who is on trial (it ain't the state, Buzz), you really have demonstrated that you don't know anything about the law, so maybe you need to try something else, like selling life insurance.

I thought about going through the codes of ethics in detail, but, no, it is of no use. Since you are unfamiliar with the basics of a trial in which the state tries a defendant, I don't think the Rules of Conduct really will mean anything to you. Now, maybe the State Bar of Georgia will have a better sense of the rules than you, or at least I hope that is the case.

Nonetheless, by blaming everyone but yourself for being stupid, I think that you have demonstrated beyond a doubt that you are more clueless than I ever thought you could be. In the next year or so, you are going to be scrutinized like you never have been before. If I were you, I'd take up heavy drinking, since I think you are not going to like what you are going to face these next 12 months.

Buzz, let me tell you that it won't be just me. There are a lot of researchers who are interested as heck as to how much money you are pulling into the district with your faux child molestation cases. They really are interested in how you have a 98 percent conviction rate when your ADAs are not exactly the cream of the crop.

It is not my fault you lost your case, Buzz. If you want to know the truth, I decided to blog because I did not like your gag order and the fact that you had another McMartin case and I believed you wanted an innocent person to go to prison for the rest of her life.

I don't like malicious prosecutions. You can ask Mike Nifong about how I deal with lying and malicious prosecutors, and as far as I am concerned, your office has nothing BUT Mike Nifongs inhabiting it. Since you have no interest in clearing out the liars and the criminals, I will try to do that for you. In the end, I really do care about the LMJD and its people a lot more than you do.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Northwest Georgia Children's Advocacy Centers: Perjury, Inc.

[Update, Friday May 14 1:00 PM]: Channel 12 has interviewed the head of the CAC in Rossville, and -- Surprise! Surprise! -- she is claiming her people did a good job:
The Children's Advocacy Center in Rossville continues to take heat after the Tonya Craft verdict, but those in charge of the center say they had no vendetta against Craft.

Craft's defense claimed there were sloppy interviews and terrible therapy.

C-A-C Director Ione Sells says her employees did their job. She says the center doesn't decide which cases to take to court.

Sells says they expected the heat, and she stands behind her interviewers and therapists.

CAC Director, Ione Sells says, "I don't think it hurts what we do. What worries me is that it hurts the kids, the kids that have been here, the kids that will be here. No parent wants publicity when something like this happens."

Sells says their clients haven't expressed any concern about their services.
Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to say it, but that dog just won't hunt. If the CAC continues to insist that leading questions, failure to document, and outright perjury is the standard procedure for the CAC "interviewers and therapists," then she and the organization are in a lot of trouble.

One important rule in life is that when one is in a hole of one's own making, the first thing to do is to stop digging. Enjoy the fundraiser tonight, folks!

[End Update]

As I continue to dig and research the "justice" system of the Lookout Mountain Judicial District, I must admit that it is like peeling back a really nasty, putrid onion, and as one comes closer to the center, the more rancid it becomes. This is a system in which one lie after another is pyramided upon a base of greed and dishonesty, and because there is no accountability in the system, the players have become so accustomed to having everything go their way.

That is why the Tonya Craft verdict Tuesday was so shocking. Given the prosecution's "evidence" and the outright stunning behavior by prosecutors Chris Arnt and Len Gregor, and "judge" Brian House, a normal, logical person would not be surprised at all that a jury would vote not guilty. However, this IS the LMJD, and when prosecutors in that district have a 98-percent conviction rate, well, a loss is something quite rare. Furthermore, after seeing these monsters in action, I believe I must say the following: They ain't that good, certainly not 98 percent good.

Yet, the prosecutors and the judge were surprised they had lost and in large part, that was because of the role the Children's Advocacy Centers of Fort Oglethorpe and Dalton. Since the community is going to "celebrate" the role of the CAC by having a fundraiser at Willow Tree Farms, I figure this is as good a time as any to commemorate all of those people in the LMJD who have been wrongfully convicted because of testimony from CAC "interviewers."

During the trial, we saw just how "professional" the CAC witnesses really were. When questioned by the defense, they rolled their eyes, shrugged their shoulders, giggled and looked at the prosecutors for help. Not only did they admit to not having read any relevant literature regarding their chosen professions, but they actually reveled in their ignorance.

When someone clearly is ignorant of the basics of their line of work, and that ignorance is exposed, that person usually is embarrassed. However, when Dr. Demosthenes Lorandos demonstrated to the jury and the court that these CAC witnesses were ignorant of the very things for which the prosecution claimed they were "experts," the CAC staffers were proud of themselves.

Yes, self-esteem is not lacking at the Children's Advocacy Centers of Fort Oglethorpe and Dalton. However, veracity, competence, and humility are not found within those walls.

Another thing that is missing with those CAC chapters is honesty. In fact, as I point out in the title, I believe that we should rename the CAC Perjury, Incorporated, or just Perjury, Inc.

Yes, think of the possibilities. They could use Laurie Evans and Suzi Thorne as their poster children, given that both women clearly lied on the witness stand, something that used to be called perjury, but now is called "testimony" by LMJD prosecutors.

Granted, there is a big, big problem with having a strategy of telling lies in court, and it is this: You had better win every time. In the Tonya Craft trial, however, the CAC associates ran over the cliff with the prosecution, but the problem is that the CAC does not have prosecutorial immunity. (To be frank, I don't think prosecutors should have immunity, either, but I don't want to get into that here.)

That is where the fundraiser comes in. I expect to see Buzz Franklin, Chris Arnt, Len Gregor, Brian House, and the Usual Suspects at that "fundraiser" losing money at the craps tables, ogling the "showgirls" in their thongs (or maybe pink leotards), and opening their wallets to support Perjury, Inc.

To be honest (since someone around these parts needs to tell the truth), the CAC is going to need the money to pay some serious bucks to Tonya Craft. Time to pay the piper.