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Suggestion. How many times does one use this word a day, a week? Unless you're a psychologist or a lawyer it's safe to assume not many. Yet, despite this word's apparent insignificance it was what put many teachers in prison (unjustly), for years! Preposterous? No, a reality. The movie Indictment illustrates this sad story vividly. In the early 80s the most expensive and lengthy court case took place and shocked families and parents all over the world. When a concerned mother accusing her Day-Care providers with sexually abusing her child the drunk, schizophrenic woman was quickly believed and followed; soon similar stories flooded police departments. When the children were interviewed very suggestive questioning methods were used and supposedly shouldn't need to be used if these kids are telling the truth they'd be overjoyed to tell of their ordeal. In one instance the unlicensed therapist asked the interviewed child if he recognized Ray Buckey from a photograph. The child answered "no" which was correct as Buckey didn't teach there at the time, resulting in the therapist urging that other children placed the boy and Buckey together, engaging in lewd acts. With some insistence the boy finally agrees and says that he not only recognized Buckey, a person he'd never seen in his life, but also accused Buckey of sexually molesting him.
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The fact that children are very suggestible became very clear to me on a personal level. My mother is a Day-Care provider and owns a Day-Care center. One time a child didn't want to stay, as you see kids do when they start school or must leave their parents for a long time, so the mother proceeded to ask her why she didn't want to stay. "Why don't you want to stay? Does she hit you or something?' The little girl seeing an opportunity to get things the way she wanted them quickly said yes and the mother never brought her again. Thankfully the other parents that it was ludicrous to accuse my mother of disciplining their children "by-hand." Although that passed and had no effect on my mom's business it showed the high suggestibility of children.
In this case things should have been handled differently. Apart from testimonial the courts should have sought physical medical evidence. These kids were never seen by a doctor, if these kids were abused signs would have been clearly evident. Also the "therapist" who worked with these kids was not qualified or professional nor an expert as she affirmed plus she was neither licensed. The testimonials were ridiculously far-fetched and should have been dismissed from use as evidence when they were unproven. It was fairly obvious, also, that many politicians let this case go on for publicity and to be reelected. The questions suggestibility should have been erased and the kids should have told stories from their memories, solely, and not asked if certain things happened. There was no evidence in this case and it shined light not only on the intricacies of the human brain, memory, and the power of suggestion but also on the corruption of the United States Judicial System.