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Coakley’s Crucible

John on January 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

I was not aware that Coakley played a significant role in the Amirault case:

In 2000, the Massachusetts Governor’s Board of Pardons and Paroles met to consider a commutation of Gerald’s sentence. After nine months of investigation, the board, reputed to be the toughest in the country, voted 5-0, with one abstention, to commute his sentence. Still more newsworthy was an added statement, signed by a majority of the board, which pointed to the lack of evidence against the Amiraults, and the “extraordinary if not bizarre allegations” on which they had been convicted.

Editorials in every major and minor paper in the state applauded the Board’s findings. District Attorney Coakley was not idle either, and quickly set about organizing the parents and children in the case, bringing them to meetings with Acting Gov. Jane Swift, to persuade her to reject the board’s ruling. Ms. Coakley also worked the press, setting up a special interview so that the now adult accusers could tell reporters, once more, of the tortures they had suffered at the hands of the Amiraults, and of their panic at the prospect of Gerald going free.

On Feb. 20, 2002, six months after the Board of Pardons issued its findings, the governor denied Gerald’s commutation.

In case you’ve forgotten, this is one of the most notorious cases of a legal system run amok in recent American history. Convictions were secured on the heavily coached testimony of child sexual abuse for which no other evidence existed. That Coakley played a prominent role in extending this travesty of justice should weigh heavily against her elevation to the Senate.

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Category: Crime & the Law, Politics |

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