Letter: Still waiting for justice

Graphic by Lori Deaton

On April 15, Junior Chandler, former day care bus driver in Madison County, will have completed 37 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. No one committed it. I believe it was an imaginary crime, a textbook example from the “satanic ritual abuse” moral panic that swept across the country in the 1980s and early ’90s.

Last month, Superior Court Judge Gary Gavenus rejected Chandler’s latest appeal — despite having found that prosecutors withheld favorable evidence and presented interview summaries with “outright fabrications.”

While his lawyers at Duke’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic are readying yet another appeal, Junior Chandler remains in Avery-Mitchell Correctional, and his family back in Madison  — including his fragile 87-year-old mother — continues to pray for his return.

Thirty-seven years!

— Lew Powell

Editor’s note: The writer follows the Chandler case and other “satanic ritual abuse” cases at avl.mx/dj2. The Assembly also recently covered the story (avl.mx/dj1).


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