121005Chandler2Oct. 5, 2012

Because today’s North Carolina Supreme Court decision on Junior Chandler’s appeal comprised three separate parts, I didn’t fully comprehend it.

“Is this good news or bad?” I emailed Mark Montgomery, Junior’s appellate lawyer.

“The worst,” he replied. “We’re out of court.”

Yes, this is the worst – the absolute, inexcusable, shameful worst.

The justices have denied Junior Chandler, probably the last still-imprisoned victim of the multiple-offender, multiple-victim ritual-abuse day-care panic, his final chance for a new trial. After 25 years behind bars – more than all the Little Rascals defendants combined! – he faces only more of the same.

If I were a lawyer, maybe I could understand how the North Carolina Supreme Court arrived at its decision.

How it was unmoved by Junior’s feeble representation early on.

How it was uninterested in the epochal progress made in limiting expert testimony.

How it was all too eager to find petty justifications for validating a prosecution rotten at the core.

But probably not.