March 1, 2013

“Now, you can ask yourself why did the jury believe these things? How could the jury believe that, as in the Amirault (day-care ritual-abuse) case, old Mrs. Amirault, one of the most upright of citizens, had suddenly turned at the age of 67 into a child molester who raped children?

“She was accused and convicted of inserting a stick into the body orifice of a little boy, tied him to a tree stark naked in front of everyone, in front of the house in Massachusetts, and the children all attested to this, the ones that were part of the case. Now, who would believe this?…

“But if you have a prosecutor who tells the jury, ‘Here are all of these brave children. These brave children have come forward to ask that you credit their story because they have endured so much suffering, and if you don’t do this, you’re betraying the children’ — it is not easy to find a jury that is stalwart enough to say, ‘Hey, you know, this really is a pile of nonsense.’”

– From a C-SPAN “Booknotes” interview with Dorothy Rabinowitz, author of “No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness and Other Terrors of Our Times” (May 4, 2003).