Monday, April 13, 2009

The Kern County Witch Hunt

I watched the movie Witch Hunt, mentioned below. It is about false charges of child abuse in Bakersfield California in the 1980s.

It should have obvious that there was no substance to the charges. There were no witnesses who could give any specifics about what happened, and no evidence that could be corroborated.

About a third of the way into the movie, the Cummings describe how neighbors were being arrested, including one close friend that they knew had to be innocent. They decided that a witch hunt was in progress, and they had to get out. They had both lived in Bakersfield their whole lives, but they packed up and left the state in the middle of the night, never to go back.

Smart move. This is striking because most people would never do anything like that. Most people would assume that they would never be falsely accused, and that they would easily prove their innocence if they were.

The accused did eventually prove their innocence, but some of them spent 15 years in prison first.

There is one kid who still claims that he was molested. He is an adult. He cannot provide any details at all. I suppose that he should not be blamed. He was only five years old when he was pressured to lie in court. Now he probably cannot face that the fact that his lies helped send his father to jail.

The judges and prosecutors and others who did all this were never punished.

No comments: