March 22, 2013

McMartin Trial: Fiasco Ruined Many Lives

Douglas Linder, University of Missouri

 

The McMartin Preschool Abuse Trial, the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history, should serve as a cautionary tale. When it was all over, the government had spent seven years and $15 million dollars investigating and prosecuting a case that led to no convictions.  More seriously, the McMartin case left in its wake hundreds of emotionally damaged children, as well as ruined careers for members of the McMartin staff.  No one paid a bigger price than Ray Buckey, one of the principal defendants in the case, who spent five years in jail awaiting trial for a crime (most people recognize today) he never committed. McMartin juror Brenda Williams said that the trial experience taught her to be more cautious: "I now realize how easily something can be said and...

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TAGGED: Los Angeles, Crime

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