Joyce Gilchrest: domestic terrorist!
Forgive Us Our Injustice System
Paul Craig Roberts
Dec. 26, 2001
This Christmas season, while counting our blessings and enjoying the
comforts of family, take a moment to say a prayer for the tens of thousands
of innocent Americans who will watch the passing of another year from
comfortless prison cells.
Among these many is Christophe Yves Gaynor. In my considered opinion,
Gaynor was framed by a corrupt prosecutor and railroaded by a corrupt judge.
Gaynor was a skateboard coach in Virginia who took his team to a New York
competition. One of the team members attempted to purchase drugs. To
restrain him, Gaynor threatened to tell his parents. The boy struck first
by accusing Gaynor of molesting him. The entire team knew the charge to be
false, but the improprieties of the trial defeated justice.
Another innocent is Carl Graf. When he declined a woman's sexual advances,
the spurned woman accused him of molesting her son.
Because of religious scruples, Anthony Kovaleski refused to testify against
his wife, prompting angry police to concoct charges against him.
Conservatives have hardened their hearts against the wrongfully convicted.
Mistakes happen, they admit, but they believe most mistakes result from
liberal judges letting the guilty go free.
Conservatives are right that the guilty often go free, but the reason is
that the innocent are convicted in their place. Justice is no longer a
concern of the justice system. Careers depend on conviction rates. It is
easier for police and prosecutors to get convictions by piling charges on a
convenient suspect until they coerce a plea than to solve a case and find
Mary Sue Terry, former attorney general of the Commonwealth of Virginia,
has this to say: "Our concern has turned from seeking truth to seeking
convictions, and our post-conviction efforts are focused on denying any
Judges have written to me in response to the book "The Tyranny of Good
Intentions" that I coauthored with Larry Stratton about the breakdown of
our justice system. They confirm that injustice is often served by the
As one of the few columnists who writes about wrongful convictions, I
receive numerous pleas for help. It is impossible for me to investigate and
write about the many cases. All I can hope to accomplish is to make the
public aware that once conviction replaces truth as the goal of the justice
system, no one is safe.
Sources of help for the wrongfully convicted can be found at
With the advent of DNA evidence, every week we learn of new cases of
wrongful conviction. People on death row and people who have spent most of
their lives in prison are being released as DNA evidence proves them to be
innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted: Albert Wesley Brown,
imprisoned 18 years in Oklahoma; Marvin L. Anderson, imprisoned 15 years in
Virginia; Jeffrey Todd Pierce, imprisoned 15 years in Oklahoma. The list
far exceeds the length of this column.
Forensic evidence, once thought to be conclusive, has turned out to be
unreliable and fraudulent. From time to time, we see news reports of
forensic experts whose work has fallen under suspicion: Pamela Fish in
Illinois, Fred Zain in West Virginia. One, Joyce Gilchrist, a 21-year
veteran of the Oklahoma City police forensic lab, is under investigation by
Oklahoma authorities, the FBI and a federal grand jury. Of her cases, 112
have been set aside for scrutiny, with 500 more to be reopened.
In nine of 10 Gilchrist cases being examined by the federal grand jury, the
defendants have already been executed.
As a result of new tests, DNA evidence has unsettled many police and
prosecutor offices. Recently in Arlington, Va., which in my opinion has one
of the least reliable justice systems in the United States, the chief
deputy clerk of the county circuit court destroyed the DNA evidence and
alleged murder weapon in a death penalty case under appeal.
The defendant's lawyer is astonished that "where a person's life is at
stake, the government is of the view it can destroy the evidence with
impunity and say, 'Yes, we destroyed the evidence so what?' "
Another festering scandal is prosecutors who pay "snitches" with money or
dropped charges to produce testimony that can be used to convict other
defendants. Most often, the testimony is false, but the prosecutor has his
Yet another scandal is the advent of feminist and lesbian prosecutors who
hate men and use their office to act out gender grudges.
Yes, there are some honest police, prosecutors and judges. But the
pressures they are under to match the conviction rates of the corrupt and
to clear court dockets will eventually leave our justice system entirely in
the hands of a heartless breed that never suffers the pangs of a bad