140426ChandlerApril 26, 2014

“Given the near certainty of Junior’s innocence (his first jury could not reach a verdict), given the fact that he has already served 26 years in prison with only a single infraction (committed in his third week in prison), given the fact that many others similarly situated have been freed by the courts, Junior is a worthy candidate for a commutation of sentence.”

– Letter from Mark Montgomery, Andrew Junior Chandler’s appellate attorney, to Gov. Bev Perdue (Dec. 7, 2012)

“This letter is to inform you that your request for a commutation of sentence on behalf of Mr. Chandler has been reviewed and denied.

“If he would like to reapply, he may do so three years from the date of this letter.”

– Letter to Montgomery from Pat Hansen, Governor’s Clemency Office (March 25, 2014

So ends the latest of Andrew Junior Chandler’s repeated attempts to find a path out of Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution, where he has spent the past 27 years for a crime neither he nor anyone else committed. He may in fact be the last still-imprisoned victim of the “satanic ritual abuse” day care panic.

“I don’t know what they have against me,” Junior told me by phone this week.  I don’t know either – I don’t even know who “they” are. But I can’t imagine that those prosecutors who so persuasively argued that “Junior would drive off his route to a park by a river, strip the children of their clothes, troop them down to the river, put them in a rowboat, commit various sexual acts, put them back on the bus and take them home” are eager to see the case dusted off and reexamined.