Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jesse Friedman: "The Law and Order" effect: Decision that could overturn his original conviction and remove him from the sex offender registry could come down this month; Salon;

STORY: "Jesse Friedman: "Forget it? I can never forget it. It never, ever goes away.": Jesse Friedman has gone through hell for a crime he says he did not commit. Now he might get his life back," by Trevor Bach,  published in Salon on June 11, 2013. (Trevor Bach is a 2013 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.)

GIST: "For nine years, Friedman has fought to overturn his conviction, inspiring a campaign that has grown to include even the mother of a child he allegedly abused. Now, nearly three years after a federal appeals court ruled that he was likely wrongfully convicted and the current Nassau County District Attorney (DA) opened an investigation into his case, Friedman could be close to victory; the decision that could overturn his original conviction and remove him from the sex offender registry could come down this month.  Until then, he can only wait.........“The American public is wholly ignorant about way too many things,” he began. “And one of them is this notion — it’s called the “Law and Order” Effect. Everybody thinks that the criminal justice system works the way “Law and Order” does. They think that truth and facts always are uncovered by hardworking determined people, that guilty people go to prison and innocent people are found to be innocent and the real perpetrators get caught and the whole thing gets neatly wrapped up in 42 and a half minutes if you take out the commercials. That’s not how the criminal justice system works. So if me telling my story to Matt Lauer can get more people to go to iTunes and watch “Capturing the Friedmans” and learn that just because you read something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true — and can get people to stop and think a little more critically and think for themselves about what they read in the newspaper or hear on TV rather than just accepting what the local news regurgitates off the AP wire — then that’s a good thing.“Because someone who reads a newspaper article or sees a stupid thing on NBC is going to end up on a jury one day, and hopefully they’re going to sort of know what they’re doing when they walk into a courtroom and when the evidence is presented they might think back and ‘Oh yeah, I watched that movie. The first time I watched the movie it seemed like this guy was guilty. Then I watched a second time and yeah, maybe but maybe not. And so I’m sitting here in the courtroom — maybe I should sort of be open-minded and listen to the evidence and not just sort of take the DA’s word for it that this guy is guilty because he’s sitting here and he was arrested for the crime.’"

The entire story can be found at:


See Wikipedia account: "Capturing the Friedmans" -  "In August 2010, a federal appeals court upheld the conviction of Jesse Friedman on technical legal grounds, but took the unusual step of urging prosecutors to reopen Friedman’s case, saying that there was a “reasonable likelihood that Jesse Friedman was wrongfully convicted.”[ The decision cited "overzealousness" by law enforcement officials swept up in the hysteria over child molestation in the 1980s. Following the appeals court ruling, the Nassau District Attorney's office began a three-year investigation led by District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice. A report by Rice is due to be released on June 28, 2013, but details have already emerged, including letters from some of the alleged victims in which they recant their accusations and implicate the police in coercing their statements. Prior to the report's release, The Village Voice conducted an interview with Jesse Friedman, who described himself as "freakishly optimistic", and also reported that Ross Goldstein, a childhood friend of Jesse Friedman's, had broken his 25-year silence to explain he had been coerced into false cooperation with the district attorney's office: "He told the review panel of how he'd been coerced into lying, how prosecutors coached him through details of the Friedmans' computer lab, which he'd never even seen, and how he was imprisoned for something he'd never done.""



Dear reader: Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following developments relating to this case;

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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:


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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.