Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ohio Gravelle "Caged Kids" Case Is More About Judicial System That Should Be Caged - California McMartin Redux

Many people are wanting to blame Huron County social services, but for the wrong reasons. To put it very simply, the highly trained social services people did not suspect criminal activity by the Gravelles because they witnessed no abuse. The case started as a media circus, with countless anti-Gravelle people jumping on the bandwagon for publicity sake. The sheriff, prosecutor, sundry case workers, guardians, the local/national media , and even the judge started seeing "cages" when there were none.

I visited the Gravelles and saw homemade, artistically decorated bunk beds which had doors that were added to do the obvious (obvious to everyone except Huron County's powers that be) - protect the children. Paid expert witnesses were bussed in by the hundreds, it seems, to prove how much more they loved the children, who no one but the Gravelles could care for.

There are too many contradictions in this case to mention: improper search warrants; inaccurate description of the bunk beds; not cages; very questionable children's testimonies; faulting the Gravelles instead of Huron County Job and Family Services; the media frenzy; expert witnesses who have been proven to distort and exaggerate such cases since the infamous McMartin daycare case in California; the children diagnosed as developmentally disabled and then, suddenly, they were not so disabled. The Gravelles should have been commended, not convicted, for taking on such an overwhelming task. If the HCJFS had noticed or heard or witnessed anything that indicated abuse of the children, they could have conferenced with the Gravelles - who even hired their own personal social worker for oversight - instead of running like the proverbial bulls in the China shop led by antihero, prosecutor Leffler.

The fact is that the Gravelles took care of children under the watchful eye of those people who know more about parenting than even parents, the HCJFS, and gave them a home when no one else would. Prosecutor Leffler certainly reminds me of the prosecutor who falsely indicted the Duke Lacrosse students on frivolous charges in Durham, North Carolina.The jury was naturally mesmerized for the "sake of the children," and did not give the Gravelles any benefit of the doubt. May I even suggest that some jurors had to get home on time for Christmas, and that the prosecutor was hurried to visit a relative overseas for the holidays?

Unless this sort of witch-hunting is stopped, other Huron County citizens can expect ( and I know of some) to be proven guilty - even before a trial. The System is not working.

In Summit County, where I live, we ordinary citizens have had to be relentless in purging our Social Services. Perhaps, citizens of Huron County need to do the same. Do not support any future levies for these people until they learn that parents have rights too. Write letters to the editor, write to State Of Ohio agencies who oversee your local social services. Complain to the Bar Association about malicious prosecutors. Elect only judges and prosecutors who have some semblance of reason and who are not easily manipulated by the status quo and social workers, and expert witnesses who have one agenda: justifying and perpetuating their employment, not justice. Get involved, or you could be next.