Voice of Bruck News Service

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Justice for Terry

Faithful readers: I'm switching gears today - this is a serious one.

I want to bring to your attention a serious situation that has transpired, actually a series of events that has recently culminated in the imprisonment of an innocent man.

Before we delve into the details of this case, let me state for the record that I believe child sexual abuse to be one of the most heinous acts a person can commit. Its pernicious effects can last a lifetime, and even persist for multiple generations. Due to the profound damage that they inflict, and their unlikelihood of rehabilitation, I believe that lifetime imprisonment for the perpretrators of these crimes is far too light a penalty.

However, I've lately come to learn of another side to the story, which in my humble opinion, is equally serious -- false accusations of child sexual abuse. I'm sure you can speculate on the reasons for this as well as I can, but the sad fact is that a very low standard for evidence is applied in these cases, and the accused is in the unenviable position of having to prove his innocence rather than the prosecutor having to prove his guilt. This is a profound failure of our justice system, and I'm coming to learn that it's not altogether uncommon.

Please take a few minutes to read the story of former pastor Terry Passmore on the website www.justiceforterry.org. Be sure to read the page about "why we believe Terry is innocent."

An unexpected side note is that, along with the donations, we have received a number of accounts of other men in similar positions, i.e., in prison due to the inability to defend themselves against false charges of child abuse. Do I know that they are all innocent? Certainly not, but in Terry's case, I have met him and discussed his case with others who know him better than I, and it is absolutely inconceivable to me that he could be guilty.

Please consider joining my family in funding Terry's appeal. There is a paypal link on the website, and an address where checks can be mailed. Any funds not used for Terry's appeal will go to help his family, which is under severe financial distress. Another way you can support this effort is to send the link to your friends and neighbors.

Thanks for your consideration, and hopefully the next VOB will be a little more uplifting!


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