odd time signatures

Julie Amero: One Year Later, Still No Liberty. Or Justice.

It’s been a full year since I’ve written any updates about Julie Amero. Actually, more than a full year. This is because I and many others, including her legal and forensic team, have been waiting to see whether the charges would be dropped after the judge set aside the verdict and ordered a new trial.

Sometimes netroots activism can create a negative environment for the ones with power to do the right thing. Because the goal is for Julie Amero to be free of this millstone around her neck, I’ve fallen silent and waited.

And waited.

I’m still waiting. It has been 13 months since Julie’s verdict was set aside. There is no doubt whatsoever that Julie Amero is as innocent as Michael Fiola was. There is no doubt that the viruses, trojans and malware that were on the computer in the classroom where she was substituting that day were the cause of the popup pornography displayed on that computer.

There is no question that a pregnant substitute teacher who loved kids was absolutely not sitting back in a classroom surfing pornography.

Even the judge agreed that there also was no question that the evidence presented in court was so flawed that Julie Amero received an unfair trial. The judge was so convinced that she set aside a jury verdict, something that rarely occurs in our justice system. Kudos to Judge Strackbein for her wisdom.

Why isn’t Julie free? She isn’t free because prosecutors have not made a decision on whether to retry her or drop all charges. Rick Green of the Hartford Courant tried to get status updates, only to be met with a solid brick wall.

I tried to find out what plans the state has for this poor woman, who was charged, arrested and convicted on false information, shoddy police work and an unwillingness by anyone — from Norwich school officials to state prosecutors — to admit that they had made a mistake.

Michael Regan, state’s attorney for the New London district, reminded me that there is a backlog of serious criminal cases in southeastern Connecticut. The Amero case “is not a high priority for us. We have other cases down here that are much more important.”

Well, maybe it’s not a high priority for Michael Regan, but it sure as hell is for Julie Amero. Since Judge Strackbein’s decision, Julie has lost a job, been hospitalized for stress, and let’s not forget that she lost her baby during the trial, too.

She was arrested 3 1/2 years ago. She was finally tried in January, 2007. That verdict was set aside because of “erroneous testimony” and “false information”.

Yet, her name still appears on the active trial list, so for now, Julie Amero is facing a new trial on charges that should not have been brought in the first place.

I’ll just end with this quote from today’s editorial from the Hartford Courant:

By burying her case in paperwork, delaying decisions and denying her justice, prosecutors are treating Ms. Amero almost as if she were a Guantanamo detainee. It’s past time to end the agony.

Even Guantanamo detainees are finally getting their day in court, or being freed after the court has determined they’ve been unlawfully detained. When will Julie’s prosecutor decide that she, too, deserves liberty and justice? She is an American citizen, an INNOCENT American citizen, who lives her life each day wondering when she is included in the “ALL” that ends our Pledge of Allegiance.

…with liberty, and justice for all.

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