Nov. 23, 2011

“Finally, after eight years, the Little Rascals case is over. We can consign to history what has to be the most bizarre and disturbing episode in the annals of North Carolina law…..

“Never has the state devoted such resources to wrecking lives with such flimsy evidence and unconscionable delays.

“As a case history of mass hysteria, the Edenton story will enrich textbooks for generations. As a cautionary tale of what can happen when otherwise sensible people come under the spell of self-styled victim advocates, one can only hope the memory of Little Rascals will help others stop the next case before it gets out of hand.

“The state’s most effective weapon… was not evidence, but time. By holding (defendants) behind bars month after month, the state managed to inflict enormous punishment… without having to prove a thing.

“As fiction, the Little Rascals story would have strained the combined imaginations of Charles Dickens and Stephen King. As news, it is a chilling example of a judicial system that was unchecked by common sense or common decency.”

– Editorial in the Greensboro News & Record, May 28, 1997

When Gladstone (or whoever) first posited that “Justice delayed is justice denied,” could he have envisioned such a calculated demonstration?