Archive for June, 2017

What the Cosby Jury Did Not Hear

June 17, 2017

Bill Cosby, it should be remembered, also cried witch-hunt. Defendants in sexual assault cases often do. The 35 women who told their stories to New York Magazine demonstrate the absurdity of that claim. The inability of those women to obtain any justice is evidence of how statutes of limitation and other evidentiary rules protect people like Cosby. The jury that deadlocked today heard from only two of the now 60 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault. Here is one they did not hear from:

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Crying Witch-Hunt!

June 15, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President, for crying “witch-hunt” about an investigation that everyone knows has a factual basis.

Maybe the next time the NCRJ cries witch-hunt—which they have done in countless cases where there is strong, even overwhelming, evidence of guilt—people will be a little more likely to pause and reflect on this knee-jerk response. Crying witch-hunt is the NCRJ’s favorite technique for distracting people from the underlying facts. 

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Special Issue on The Witch-Hunt Narrative

March 30, 2017

The Journal of Interpersonal Violence has published its Special Issue about The Witch-Hunt Narrative (Vol. 32, No. 6). Here is the Abstract of my contribution, a response to the other articles and comments:

The articles and comments in this issue bear out the enduring impact of The Witch-Hunt Narrative. There is not sufficient space to acknowledge or respond to most of this feedback. This response corrects an error that was identified by one commenter and it responds to questions raised by another commenter about my analysis of the “Concerned Scientists” brief. This response also documents how Wood, Nathan, and Beck have misapplied the term ritual abuse, misstated the facts of many cases, and promoted “mythical numbers” that significantly exaggerate the number of false convictions. These critics are wrong about the only three cases they discuss in detail. The McMartin Preschool case began with credible evidence of child sexual abuse that continues to be distorted by critics. The Keller case began with even stronger medical evidence that is not diminished by the dubious and incomplete “retraction” of the Emergency Room doctor. The Fuster case involved overwhelming evidence of abuse, medical and testimonial, that continues to be distorted or overlooked by critics. Those who promote the witch-hunt narrative rely on selective use of evidence to reach an apparently predetermined result. That is politics and advocacy, not scholarship. This dismissive approach to children’s testimony has caused documented harm to children.

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