Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bulletin: On SBS focuses on the Clayton Allison case (Alaska) - and discovers a disturbing video that not only reveals the heartless tactics employed by police in this case but also showcases the extraordinary strength of Clayton’s wife Christiene, who seems to have been the only honest person in the room during her interrogation. SBS publisher Sue Luttner calls the interrogation of Christiene Allison: "Breathtaking strength under heartless interrogation." (Must Read. HL);

"The support group for convicted father Clayton Allison in Alaska has posted a disturbing video that not only reveals the heartless tactics employed by police in this case but also showcases the extraordinary strength of Clayton’s wife Christiene, who seems to have been the only honest person in the room during her interrogation. From the beginning, Christiene Allison says, she believed her husband’s report that he had accidentally left the baby gate open, allowing their 15-month-old daughter Jocelynn to fall down the stairs. Based on medical opinion, Clayton was convicted of second degree murder this past February, and sentenced last week to 30 years in prison. The interrogation was conducted in January of 2009, four months after the incident, when the police called the child’s mother to the station to tell her that the medical examiner had declared Jocelynn’s death a homicide. In the video, two state troopers are trying to convince Christiene, 22 years old at the time, to call her husband immediately, on a secretly taped line, and ask him what really happened that day. “Either you’re on the side of Jocelynn or you’re on the side of Clayton,” one officer explains, insisting that Christiene look at the autopsy photos and mocking her statements that she loves her daughter. Since Jocelynn’s death, her mother has been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Christiene steadfastly refuses to cooperate with a secret taping. “If I can tell him it’s being taped, I’ll make that call,” she says, but “I will not be deceitful.” “Clayton has been lying to you every day since September,” the interrogator sneers. “The fact that Clayton makes love to you knowing he did this to your daughter, that’s deception,” and she thrusts in Christiene’s face a color glossy from the autopsy that shows the skin of the girl’s face peeled back and bunched up under her chin..........The video is just short of 34 minutes long and well worth watching, available on the Free Clayton Allison web site and on YouTube. What I find chilling is the troopers’ willingness to treat a grieving mother with such callous contempt. Christiene Allison was not home the day of the incident. She was never a suspect. But the police were sure her husband had been lying to her—because that’s what the doctors told them—and because she believed her husband, the troopers were willing to accuse, berate, and taunt her for four hours, while she didn’t change her story by an inch. Do the doctors know how the police conduct these interrogations? Do they care? Of course watching the video reminds me of Scenes of a Crime, the award-winning film that eventually led to the release of Adrian Thomas in New York. The outpouring of support for the Allison family echoes other movements that have been springing up across the country—on behalf of Joshua and Brenda Burns in Michigan, for example, and Cindy Rosewinkel and Melissa Calusinski in Illinois. I’m discouraged because the convictions continue, but I’m encouraged because defense groups continue to seek relief for those in prison—as in the cases of Albert Omenged Debelbot and Ashley Deone Debelbot in Georgia, Leo Ackley in Michigan, Jeffrey Havard in Mississippi, and many others. I hope the families and communities affected by these misguided accusations will keep speaking up, and that they’ll start connecting with others in the same position. I encourage anyone who has personal experience with the misdiagnoses of physical child abuse to look into the Protecting Innocent Families petition at and its companion web site.