It’s been announced today that Julie Amero will receive a new trial and moreso, that the state prosecutors who originally (and falsely) convicted her will not bring a motion against her this time around – meaning she’ll likely walk away with no sentence and only a few years of horrible, tortuous heartache and thousands of dollars of debt – about the best an innocent person can expect in America these days.
If you haven’t been following it, Julie is (was) a substitute teacher who was (falsely) accused of exposing kids in her class to porn via the classroom computer. In reality, the woefully out-of-date machine was infected with more viruses than a Panamanian mosquito, spawing obscene popups and corrupting itself from within. Poor Julie had been instructed by her supervisor to not turn the machine off under any circumstances, and the other teachers she ran to shunned her request for help – she was only an oft-disrespected substitute, after all. She didn’t even have a jacket to cover the machine with, and didn’t know enough about computers to stop the smut invasion or shut off the monitor without disabling the whole machine.
For that she was convicted as a criminal intent on corrupting 7th graders and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Since that January day four years ago she’s been living with the stress, terror, confusion and unemployment handed to her by an inept court, an unfair judge (who denied her the right to present evidence in her defense), and far-from-expert witnesses who should be on trial themselves for the abuse of this woman and for the stress-induced loss of her unborn child. It’s only been by the combined shrieks from thousands of voices around the country (and the world) and the time and money contributions of many that her sentencing has been repeatedly postponed and she’ll now have a chance at what will hopefully be a fair and proper trial.
Unfortunately so many face similarly unfair trials every day that slip under the radar and are never called to light as this one as been. Clearly the road to justice is paved by the watchful vigilance of the people it’s supposed to protect.
Links for further reading:
A little timeless wisdom on the subject:
“Eternal vigilance is required and there have to be people who step up to the plate, who believe in liberty, and who are willing to fight for it.” — Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate
“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” — Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke