I read this book straight through, couldn't put it down.
It is very well constructed and written - but OMG! the horror these people were put through for baseless accusations, false evidence and prosecutors determined to get a conviction regardless of truth and justice. These cases mainly started in the 1980's when accusations of child sex abuse was at fever pitch in America. The accusations and "evidence" were ludicrous and ilogical and the accounts document the immoral tactics used to get allegations out of the mouths of young children who initally insisted nothing bad had happened but were then manipulated and their words twisted into what the investigators wanted to get. The people's lives were destroyed, they were convicted and sent to prison for crimes that had not even occurred let alone by them. Most have since been released but as at the time the book was written - published 2003 - one man was still in prison after 16 years.
It seems there were "experts" and various professionals, lawyers who would make a lot of money out of constructing cases - it was big business by the sound of it - regardless of the truth and the welfare of the children they were getting this false information out of - they manipulated them until they believed dreadful things had happened to them. and the convicted people were considered unrehabilitated and unfit for parole because they maintained their innocence instead of "taking responsibility" and confessing. These examples are disgraceful miscarriages of justice, I cannot find any words that adequately reflect how disgusting the prosecutor's behaviours were - and in the Land of the Free as well! The country that believes itself to be the best democracy in the world and that it has the right to take moral outrage at what happens in other countries. Their brand of injustice is less obvious but it is just as cruel. As the author says, these cases show how powerful the accusation of child molestation is and that it has become a weapon used for other reasons.
If you care about justice you must read this book.
Also - lots of similarities with the way prosecutors got the so called (farcical) "evidence" with which to prosecute Michael Jackson in 2003-5 - another innocent man. a similarly illogical case, but high profile and serving certain political agendas. what a coup it would have been for Sneddon if he had won a conviction. Fortunately on this occasion the jury was able to see through the lies. For more information on this watch Larry Nimmer's dvd, from amazon.com "Michael Jackson:the untold story of Neverland". it shows a police interview with the boy accuser.
Convictions are only good if they are the guilty being convicted - convictions of innocent people are as bad as if not worse than letting a guilty one go free. There are a lot of accusations going on at the moment - as a society and world we must be careful to be sure people are guilty before labelling them such, and we must not allow innocent people to be convicted of these crimes - just because someone makes an allegation does not make it true, and just because the media reports allegations as if they are true, does not make them true. I don't want real paedophiles to get away with their crimes but we must be sure real justice is done not what is politically expedient or just becauser its easier to believe what we are told than think it through properly with real evidence. We must all fight for a just world, and its not just for other people - As this book shows, anyone however innocent and good, can be accused of these crimnes.