In today’s Wall Street Journal Dorothy Rabinowitz has a disturbing piece about the role Martha Coakley, who hopes to be elected to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, played in extending the sickening miscarriages of justice that were the Satantic ritual abuse prosecutions that swept the country in the 1980s. The case of the Amiraults of Massachusetts was one of the most outrageous. This was a family of three-a mother, and her son and daughter-who ran a preschool and were prosecuted and jailed for allegedly committing heinous crimes against children. The accusations were made up. Coakley is not responsible for the initial madness that was this case. But when she became district attorney, after the prosecutions were revealed to be nothing but an abuse of power, she used her power to keep the son, Gerald, who by then had been in prison for more than a decade, from having his sentence commuted. Her theory was that the women were just pawns of the Satanic Gerald, and his conviction should stand. Eventually he was released, but because of Coakley’s efforts, he lives with an ankle monitor under a kind of house arrest, unable to work, ruined. Rabinowitz points out that Coakley thinks the treatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo has been an outrage. But she is perfectly comfortable being complicit with the destruction of the life of an innocent man in her own state.
Photograph of Martha Coakley by Darren McCollester/Getty Images.