Letter: Furst case is an example of a much bigger problem
Re “In Furst trial, a troubling argument from prosecutors” (Monitor Forum, July 3):
Maurice Regan opines that in the Deborah Furst trial the “prosecution appeared to be both ignorant and dismissive of applied research that might prevent a miscarriage of justice.” This wrongly presumes that the prosecution is interested in pursuing justice.
Regan recognizes in the Furst case merely one instance of the larger and more pervasive phenomenon whereby prosecutors no longer evaluate the credibility or motivation of the complainant before bringing charges. To do so, they believe, re-victimizes the victim. This head-in-the-sand attitude many times makes victims out of the accused.
Apparently the only time it is acceptable to break with the policy of granting automatic credibility is when the accused works within the criminal (in)justice system. See “Tone-deaf in New London” (Monitor Forum, July 5), which describes New London’s plan to install cameras in its police station to “protect police officers from false allegations of misconduct” after an arrestee reported being sexually propositioned by then-police Chief David Seastrand.
Unless one belongs to the self-protected class of law enforcement, if you have criminal allegations leveled against you, the complainant will be granted automatic credibility. Prosecutors will bring you to trial, manipulate the facts in the light most favorable to the state, and the jury will be informed that the complainant’s story does not require corroboration.
Unless you have several wise jurors willing to stand their ground, as in the Furst case, you will find yourself in prison wondering how this happened to you, given that most people apparently believe wrongly that the system “bends over backward to make sure the (accused) gets all his rights . . . and then some” (Cecile Marini, Monitor letter, July 4).
(The writer is an inmate at the state prison in Concord.)