May 3, 2013

“In the quaint village of Edenton, where residents have suffered either a sadistic witch hunt of historical proportions or a rampage by a despicable gang of ritualistic child molesters, the public has been slapped in the face by a deal between prosecutors and Elizabeth Kelly.

“Kelly is one of seven people charged with sexually molesting children at the Little Rascals Day Care center. Her husband Bob is pulling 12 life sentences for his part, and lowly cook Dawn Wilson is pulling one life sentence. But Elizabeth Kelly will serve only a few more months because her lawyer got her a good deal.

“A deal? Either she is guilty of inflicting unspeakable horrors on babies or she is as innocent as a lamb. There are no degrees here, either they did it or they didn’t. If they did it, they all deserve to spend the rest of their miserable lives in prison. But if they didn’t do it – and the prosecution now seems unable to prove it and reluctant to try – then they all deserve to be free to exact legal revenge on a community that has put them through hell.

“There is no justice, no fairness and no answers in a deal that sets her free and leaves the others to rot in jail. If Elizabeth Kelly is set free by politicians, why should Bob Kelly and Dawn Wilson be sent to jail by juries? If Mrs. Kelly gets a deal, then all of them deserve the same deal.”

– From “When justice becomes the slave of convenience, faith fades” by News & Observer columnist Dennis Rogers (Jan. 30, 1994)