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Now I Can See The Moon - A Story of a Social Panic False Memories and a Life Cut Short - cover

Now I Can See The Moon - A Story of a Social Panic False Memories and a Life Cut Short

Alice Tallmadge

Publisher: She Writes Press

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Summary

• Public interest in, and professional debate over, recovered memories continues. A 2017 New Yorker article tells the story of Ada JoAnn Taylor, who in 2009 was exonerated from her murder conviction because of DNA evidence, but is still haunted by the tactile, but false, memory of the pillow she used to “smother” her supposed victim. On the other end of the recovered memory spectrum, the 2017 Netflix documentary The Keepers, documents the story of a woman who, 20 years after it had allegedly occurred, recalled sexual abuse by a priest at her all-girls Catholic high school in Baltimore. Other women later came forward with memories of being abused by the same priest.  
• Of the 149 individuals exonerated of their convictions in 2015, 64 had pleaded guilty to crimes they didn’t commit, for a variety of reasons. “A serious consideration of the fallibility and malleability of memory would upend how our criminal justice system processes confessions, eyewitness testimony, even police shootings,” writes Radley Balko of the Washington Post. “Which is probably why the courts have been so resistant.”

• There have been 51 exonerations of convictions handed down during the childcare abuse panic of the 1980s. Many of the convictions were life sentences. Fran and Dan Keller of Austin, Texas, were the last to be released from prison. Their convictions were overturned in 2013; they were formally exonerated in June 2017. They had each spent 21 years in prison.

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