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My turn, Jackie Miller: ‘Liar-victims’ can cause pain for accused

By Jackie Miller

Sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

I recall learning that rhyme growing up as a child. But in all reality, words do hurt. When a victim falsely accuses someone, the words are damaging and sometimes fatal to those they have lied about. The impact of the personal and legal transformation these lies have are worthy of investigation.

An untruthful victim is dangerously destructive. As lies unfold, the true victim becomes the wrongfully charged defendant that the lie has been inflicted upon. These now victim-defendants are forced to fight for their freedom and life.

Liar-victims, as I will now call them, are becoming a benefit to police corruption and prosecutorial misconduct. Corrupt prosecutors and police officers can use these lies as an opportunity to falsify evidence, gaining false confessions, intimidation, burden-shifting and other prosecutorial and police corruption.

It is a blatant miscarriage of justice when a prosecutor favors wins over fair justice.

In the case of the Central Park Five, five young black males were convicted of crimes they never committed. These young black males were sentenced to prison and, later, the real perpetrator was arrested. The damage to these young black males was already done. Although the focus of this article is not on prosecutorial misconduct, it must be highlighted.

The impact these liar-victims have inflicted upon a defendant is a deadly virus of lies.

While there are many victims in our society that are honest, my focus is on those untruthful victims, the liar-victims (individuals willing to falsely accuse and lie under oath) who willfully lie for malicious reasons.

The core question one may ask is “Why would a victim lie?” As writer Benjamin Radford stated, “In the case of faked abductions, often the “victim” does it for sympathy or attention; other times the story is given to cover up for illegal or embarrassing behavior.”

In Holiday, Florida, a mother called the police and reported that her 12-year-old daughter was kidnapped and abducted from her home.

It was later found that the mother made up the kidnapping and abduction and coached the daughter on what to say to investigators. A brother and sister, age 8 and 6, lied to police about their attempted abduction in Monterey, California. After a disagreement with a friend, Rodney Roberts, of New Jersey, was accused of kidnapping and spent 18 years in prison for a kidnapping he never committed.

These fabricated crimes are not the first time a victim has falsely accused someone of a crime. Six decades ago, Carolyn Bryant accused Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy, of a crime he did not commit. False allegations made against Emmett led to him being brutally murdered.

These liar-victims often lead to innocent people taking guilty pleas.

Why do the innocent plead guilty? Ekow Yankah, a law professor at Yeshiva University, said, “Under conditions of fear, anxiety, stress, exhaustion, people confess to crimes they didn’t commit.” The victim-defendants are forced to plead guilty to avoid greater risks and harm. It’s chilling to see and hear such manipulative liars abuse the legal system to send innocent people to prison.

Liar-victims are the true criminals in these hoaxed abductions and kidnapping among other falsely reported crimes.

Jackie Miller and has a doctorate in psychology. She specializes in conflict resolution, meditation and workplace bullying.

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