It Could Happen To You!
There are 200,000 false or unfounded accusations of child sexual assault each year. You could be next. The unthinkable has happened to doctors, lawyers, policemen, teachers, day care workers. Normal, innocent, everyday people, just like you!
Accused Pitch Video:
Accused: A Documentary Film
In 1692 the testimony of six girls led to the convictions and executions of 19 men and women for the practice of witchcraft. All but one of the "Circle Girls" later recanted their testimony, but much too late to save the innocent. Events like the Salem Witch Trials and brutal treatment by the British Empire were fresh in the minds of our founding fathers when the basis of our legal framework and government were put onto paper. The sentiments of the time led to a declaration of independence and the ratification of our Constitution and have become more than ideas of justice and freedom for all Americans. They are the very essence of what America is—a precious and delicate belief in what a government should be, ideas that we hold dear and sacred to this day.
Our system of law was designed to prevent future failures like those of Salem, Massachusetts. The basic premise of presumption of innocence undertones our bill of rights. Our belief that we are all innocent until proven guilty is the core of our faith and security in our legal system. We live out our lives with the comfort and assurance that if we remain civil and abide by the laws of the land that we have nothing to fear: our innocence protects us from an overzealous government and its people.
But as history shows, these perfect ideas of law can entirely break down in practice, as senator Joseph McCarthy demonstrated in the 1950’s. We look back to McCarthyism as a national faux pas, a breach of our tenants of law and a test of our system of government—and its people—to right itself over time. Surely again, we would never let such a thing happen.
Or would we?
Accused is a documentary film which will show how emotions and politics fuel hysteria that lead to gross abuses of our legal system that continue to destroy the lives of thousands of innocent American citizens. These failures of our legal system aren’t just moments of history we study to prevent future breakdowns—hundreds of actually and factually innocent people are currently imprisoned for a crime they did not commit, and thousands more are being wrung through a system that desperately needs to be re-examined.
Accused will examine: the problems of hysteria surrounding accusations of child molestation and rape and how these types of accusations have become an all-to-easy method of revenge and vindictiveness; growing abuse and criticism of sexual offender registries; problems with the politicization of key positions within our legal system; privatization and profiteering on the convicted; the increasing use of our legal system as a corporate weapon to eliminate fair competition; and the overall imbalance of equal-access to the law. Each of these problems are symptomatic of a larger problem within our legal framework. Untreated, these problems continue to eat away at all of our civil liberties.
Our idea of law is perfect. Our practice of law, however, is subject to the imperfections of human nature. It is easy to accept a few miscalculations of the system, until that miscalculation is you and your entire way of life has been completely stripped away. And our faith in the presumption of innocence blinds us to how easy it is to find yourself living inside a nightmare never imagined possible.