MANIPULATED WITNESS

Injured daughter, Christie Downs, 8 years old at time of attack

  - suffering from gunshot wounds and in shock

  - treated with mind and mood altering drug DILANTIN before and after

     giving evidence before the bar

  - children isolated from their family (even grandparents) and each other

     and receiving unethical extensive treatment (interrogations,

     often used as a brainwashing technique on adults)

     from professionals and State agents alike

  - lack of sufficient control or documentation of treatment

  - children denied access to their mother and blood relatives

    and vice versa short after being brought to hospital.

  - unprecedented adoption by Prosecutor Fred Hugi of Defendants children

    later in the end

     became the star witness for the prosecution

 

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Deborah  Frisch, Ph.D.

December 8, 2008
to Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision
Re: Support of Parole of Elizabeth Diane Downs, SID 6546106

The only non-circumstantial evidence in support of the allegation that Ms. Downs shot her children was the testimony of Christie Downs, who was coached for almost a year by former Lane County Deputy District Attorney Fred Hugi. [Note: It is not clear why Mr. Hugi continued to prosecute Ms. Downs on behalf of Lane County District Attorney Harcleroad after he decided he wanted to adopt Christie and Danny Downs. The unbelievable conflict of interest that existed when former Lane County Deputy District Attorney Hugi prosecuted the mother of the children he wanted to adopt is beyond the scope of this letter.]

The unreliability of children's testimony has been documented by cognitive psychologists such as Elizabeth Loftus of the University of Washington, Stephen Ceci of Cornell and others. [aaarrrggghhh! i should have added "and denied by cognitive pseudoscientists like Jennifer J. Freyd of the University of Oregon."] The harm done to families by unscrupulous district attorneys who bully children into falsely testifying against their parents has recently been documented in a documentary called "Witch Hunt" by Sean Penn about Kern County (CA) District Attorney Ed Jagels. There is no way that a jury would convict Ms. Downs today, based on the clearly coached (by a man who wanted to adopt her) testimony of Christie Downs.
http://www.bakersfield.com/142/story/593106.html

The Certainty of Memory Has Its Day in Court
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/health/the-certainty-of-memory-has-its-day-in-court.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=science
Witness testimony has been the gold standard of the criminal justice system, revered in courtrooms and crime dramas as the evidence that clinches a case.
Yet scientists have long cautioned that the brain is not a filing cabinet, storing memories in a way that they can be pulled out, consulted and returned intact. Memory is not so much a record of the past as a rough sketch that can be modified even by the simple act of telling the story.

 

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