Friday, April 15, 2011

In praise of strong-willed women who seek justice

A year ago today, Tonya Craft was on trial for her life, falsely accused of child molestation, with the "justice" machinery of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit attempting to railroad her by falsifying evidence and outright lying. Tonya, however, was able to fight back, and in the end she prevailed, as "judge" brian outhouse's attempts to rig the trial (with cooperative efforts from prosecutors Chris "Facebook-Cruisemaster" Arnt and Len "The Man" Gregor) failed.

(Even after using questionable means to secure a jury, the fact was that the prosecution really believed that the Catoosa County jurors were stupid and venal and would think that they would believe every lie told to them. It never occurred to them that the jurors might be interested in the truth, not what Sandra Lamb and her rich daddy wanted them to believe.)

In the past year, much of this blog has been dedicated to dealing with cases of false accusation, including that of Tonya, but also similar situations elsewhere in this country. While each case is different, I have found one constant: the presence of strong-willed women who know how to fight back.

Tonya is strong-willed, stubborn, and a stickler for the truth. Carola Jacobson is strong-willed, stubborn, and a stickler for the truth. Becky Rasmussen is strong-willed, stubborn, and a stickler for the truth. Kerwyn is strong-willed, stubborn, and a stickler for the truth.

These women have made a difference, even though only one has been on trial, that being Tonya. The others have played supporting roles, and I can tell you that in each situation, the women have made a difference.

Kerwyn, of course, has not just supported the families going through the hell of false accusations. She also has supported me and kept me on an even keel and has always been the voice in my ear saying, "We get it right, period."

(By the way, Kerwyn does not automatically assume that the accused are innocent. If she comes to that conclusion, she comes to it because she understands the facts behind each case and can go with not only her instincts and intuition, but also her knowledge of how these cases actually work.)

I have found something else about each of these women, and the others whom I have not mentioned, but have been pillars of strength: they are not petty and vindictive. Look at how Tonya has handled the aftermath of her own case, including the custody battle.

She could be trying to destroy Joal and Sarah Henke, both of whom were willing to commit perjury both in Georgia and Tennessee in order to go after Tonya. Joal committed fraud in a federal home loan application, and a number of people have gone to prison for the same thing. (So far, federal and state authorities in Chattanooga are not interested, and that is fine with me, although it does tell me that they have a rather selective view of justice.)

Instead, Tonya has been as gracious as anyone could be, given what she experienced. Likewise, I have seen gracious acts from Carola and Becky.

Pettiness is not strength, and vindictiveness is not a virtue. None of these women claim to be perfect, and all have their faults -- and they would be the first to tell you they have faults and weaknesses.

I have come to understand something important about each of these women: they may have fears, but when it comes to doing right, they are fearless. And because there are so many people in authority out there who are hellbent on doing wrong, we need more women like Tonya, Carola, Becky, and Kerwyn. Lots more.


Of course, there also are women like Crystal Mangum, the false accuser in the Duke Lacrosse Case. Mangum has graduated from prostitution and lying to murder. K.C. Johnson covers the latest news of the saga of Crystal.


Asha said...

Are appeals ever granted when the only proof to convict was testimony?

Cinderalla said...

Thank you Bill for all you did and are doing to shine the light

Lookout Spy said...

To Asha,

Appeals are to review the proceedings for error in the trial court below, and must be timely filed (30 days); show objections were overruled as to evidence, the jury selection was proper, and the judge did not allow improper proceedings or testimony.

If you did not have a court reporter at the trial, odds are slim of an appeal changing the judgment in a criminal case, and zero if there was a plea bargain.

Anonymous said...

Put the jury in authority, when guessing the weight of a cow experts, people with high IQs could not hold a candle to a group of people with diverse back grounds who made a guess about the weight. The average was taken which turned out to be best guess. Moral of the story, the more minds on solving a problem in common the better.

Anonymous said...

On Crystal Mangum, don't forget the alleged arson and identity theft among other charges.

Doc Ellis 124 said...

Greetings Dr Anderson


Thank you for writing this

Doc Ellis 124

Anonymous said...

I may be a day late & a dollar short, but I absolutely love this post! How true it is. Many like to believe that because of strength & conviction, you must be "perfect", when in reality, those traits show more than perfection. Every one of these women have shone the light on true life, what can happen & how strength & honesty can take you leaps & bounds above the rest.

Thank God for women like these! I am also a woman of truth, not a perfect past, present or future, but strive to do the right thing. Through adversity, I have risen above as they have. I will continue my prayers for all of them & all women, men & children who are falsely accused or just simply struggling through life.

On this Easter, I pray that we all rise above the evil in this world & live strong, right-driven lives. It's our place to make sure evil doesn't prevail. In Jesus' name, let us work to make sure injustices are no more & before we judge, stop & find out as much as possible. Everything is not simple. If someone is accused of something, doesn't make it true. Remember, there are good & bad among all professions & it is our job to hold people accountable for wrong doing, whether it's the so-called "good guys" or "bad guys".

It's been a while since I've commented. I really feel the power of good right now. As I've said before, I'm a victim of a violent, disgusting crime, and I believe that is what has brought me to fight for all innocent victims. Some people don't see people falsely accused as victims, but I do. God has given me a voice, and I will use it.

God bless you all & Dr. Anderson, thank you for continuing the fight. Even though you fight for the "unpopular" category, just know there are plenty of us who are crime victims who support you & what you do. Thank you!