Court Value and Quality
Now 23, Young Woman Says She Made Up Testimony That Put Her Dad in Prison in 2002
Posted Apr 2, 2012 5:40 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Cassandra Ann Kennedy was 11 years old in 2001, when, she now says, she made up a story that put her father in a Washington state prison from 2002 until last week.
Disappointed in her father, who, she felt, didn’t love her enough, she falsely told authorities he had raped her, wanting him out of her life to ease the pain that she felt, Kennedy told detectives in January. Her parents had divorced a decade or so earlier, and, she says, she got the idea of making up the story from the case of a friend whose stepfather was convicted of a similar crime, reports the Daily News.
Now 43, Thomas Edward Kennedy was released from prison last week after serving nine years and the case against him was dismissed. He declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper.
“This is something my whole office is talking about,” said Cowlitz County Prosecutor Sue Baur. “This is the kind of thing that shouldn’t happen.”
Baur wrote a letter to the judge in the case in February, alerting him to new evidence that created “a reasonable likelihood that Mr. Kennedy is innocent of those crimes.” She told the newspaper she continues to rethink every detail of the Longview case and recently listened to a tape of the child’s testimony, yet doesn’t see that the legal system did anything wrong.
She does not intend to pursue charges against the 23-year-old woman for lying, in part because doing so would discourage others from telling the truth after the fact.
Kennedy says she didn’t understand, as a child, the full effect that her false testimony would have on her dad.
What value are our caught$ ?
If you were charged with something, how confident could you be, that the truth will come out?
If you were asked by a friend “I have been charged with sexually abusing my child. I think I will commit suicide. Can I trust our caught$?”, what would you say?
There are a lot of interesting comments on the ABA website, so try out the button above and look down for the comments….. especially about whether the complainant should be charged with perjury?
Crown versus M. Court 14 High Court Auckland
This trial has become a farce.
As a juror, I have lost confidence that the objective of the hearing is justice at a professional cost.
It just looks like fee gouging. This reminds me of the four women tried alongside Peter Ellis, in Christchurch. If my memory is correct, even after all charges were dropped, two were bankrupted and two were forced to sell their family homes.
Justice should aim higher than this, or it shouldn’t even be attempted at all.
As a citizen and taxpayer, I am intensely uncomfortable about what is going on in this caught. This has reached the point where my ethical embarrassment is so strong, that I consider that I must walk out and take no further part in what is going on, while the assurances of proper practice rest on hidden information.
I must make my own judgement and be seen to stand by it.
With the benefit of hindsight, I possibly should have made this decision earlier. Such decisions are difficult in a slowly sliding situation. This is the first time that I have been a juror, so I recognize that I am not experienced in these matters. I apologise to the defendant, Mr. M, for my slow response to these problems. I will take all proper actions to lead to a just and fair trial outcome.
One complainant commented that the management of Department of Social Welfare should be in the dock. In my opinion, this would deliver some social value. Each dollar spent in this caughtroom, is a dollar stolen from real world child protection. Our country is not so rich, that we can proceed with no thought to the cost of our actions and the cost effectiveness.
In my opinion, if the judge chooses to shield the prosecutor from public accountability, then she herself becomes accessory. On this basis, she shares responsibility for what is going on.
Any professional organization provides support and guidance for it’s junior members. This protects the work process from the lack of experience of individual workers. Such teamwork should protect the organization and the public from any individual’s lack of experience. Quality Review should prevent such debacles from occurring. This does not seem to be occurring in the Crown Prosecution Service. Quality Management is expected in industry and these caughts ignore it, at their own peril.
It appears that it is not a single failure, but multiple failures in this trial process. This leads me to the conclusion, that it cannot be restored to proper process under the present judge. Although the jury has been given many assurances by the judge, that the trial is proceeding satisfactorily, I have totally lost confidence. The hidden problems create doubt about the relevance and completeness of the evidence presented.
I acknowledge that I have made this decision hastily. I have not had the opportunity to read through all of the documentation and weigh it properly. This would only occur when the jury started deliberation.
However, my feelings of disquiet are so strong, that I cannot bear to try to suspend my disbelief and continue to extend naÃƒÂ¯ve trust in the judge any longer.
It is part of the role of a jury to represent the values of the New Zealand public. Although I am doing this unconventionally, I see my decision as the lowest risk method of proceeding, that is consistent with my values about what justice should be. I believe that my values about justice are widely held in our community.
Murray Bacon signed: …………………………………. Wednesday 3rd June 2009.
Newspapers have now identified Mr. M as Graeme McCardle. The jury I was ejected from did not reach a unanimous decision and a later trial convicted him. Maybe the second trial was presented with evidence not available at the first hearing, or maybe the second jury set a lower standard of proof, or had personal axes to grind? Six years jail for child social worker
He was sentenced to a years imprisonment for each day the second jury deliberated!
I am not expressing my opinion on Mr. McCardle’s guilt, as I was not present for all of the evidence presented. We were advised that the hearing would take 1 to perhaps 1 1/2 weeks (that is prosecution plus defence). Starting with weak evidence and with successively weaker and weaker evidence, after 4 weeks the prosecution evidence wasn’t all presented. I then decided that to keep on attending what appeared to me to be just legal-workers stealing from the Government, by continuing to be present, I would be part of their scam.
MurrayBacon – axe murderer even when not angry.
I am suggesting that all of our caught processes need to be rethought, to make sure that they are effective at justice, they provide the most effective incentives for citizens to generally follow the law and that the laws are in fact relevant and constructive in our society.
There is a huge amount of work, to rethink social policies and legislation.
Present social policies and laws, in some cases, are way out of line with modern understanding of psychology, child development and protection
I believe that among the several cases wrongly prosecuted using “evidence” from Dr. Moira Woods, several of the accused fathers committed suicide, rather than place trust in Irish caught$. Is trust in NZ caught$ any higher, than in Ireland?