Beware of Alford Pleas

originally posted 2/8/2009

I was an investigative protective services social worker for four years when I was younger and have been a therapist for over twenty years.

I would never have believed that my oldest son who is mentally ill would go through what he did because a child lied about him abusing her.

She recanted a year ago. And why did she do this? Because she was jealous of the relationship my son had with her older sister. This child lived in an extremely dysfunctional family and in a neighborhood where lying to the police was common.

My son was naive and took an alford plea because of very poor legal representation. He was never told he needed to register. His case is under appeal. But the prosecutors in these cases handled them in an extremely roughshod manner. They are far from being individualized according to dangerousness of the defendant. My son’s life has been ruined by this. He will never be the same. He trusted people too much before but now he trusts no one. This girl also was encouraged to report this lie by a grandmother and a neighborhood gossip who disliked my son.  They didn’t “like his looks” and that was how the media reacted as well.

Please reform these laws which undermine justice for the innocent and appropriate justice for those who are guilty but not dangerous. (i.e. men who have sex with underage prostitutes with no harm, no coercion)

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