A Federal Court will hear oral arguments in the Habeas Corpus appeal of wrongly imprisoned priest, Fr Gordon MacRae.
His 1994 trial has been called a perversion of justice.
I have the honor of assisting to maintain a page for wrongly imprisoned priest, Father Gordon MacRae, at the professional social network LinkedIn. I hope you will visit it. The page has well over 1,000 followers which is somewhat unusual for LinkedIn. Many are Catholic priests throughout the world. About once a month or so, however, I receive in my inbox a message from a Catholic reader with an inquiry. The question is often the same: “I’m hearing of this story for the first time. Why is this injustice not shouted from the rooftops?”
I’m not sure I have an answer to that question. On March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day, at 10 A.M., Chief Judge Joseph LaPlante is slated to hear oral arguments in the Habeas Corpus appeal filed on behalf of Father MacRae in U.S. District Court in Concord, NH. I do not know what to expect, and it may be some time before a decision is published as a result of this hearing.
I cannot help but recall a pointed quote from Dorothy Rabinowitz, who has published three major articles about the trial of Father MacRae in The Wall Street Journal:
“Those aware of the facts of this case find it hard to imagine that any court today would ignore the perversion of justice it represents.” (Dorothy Rabinowitz: “The Trials of Father MacRae,” wsj.com, May 10, 2013)
As with other such milestones in this case, the hearing itself may generate some notice from those who are not yet familiar with this travesty of justice. So I thought, at this juncture, that the best service I could perform in the interest of truth and justice would be to present something with the most basic information about this story.
You could effortlessly take part in this. I have composed below a few paragraphs about why Father Gordon MacRae is right now mid-way through his 21st year of unjust imprisonment. This is followed by a number of links that we feel best capture the truth of this case.
I therefore ask that readers of These Stone Walls will share a link to this post with everyone you can. If you share it with your contacts, and post it on Facebook and other social media, ask your connections to re-share it. If you do this, I am sure I will hear from many other Catholics, and others with an interest in justice, asking how this story ever eluded them. There is much more to be written of this matter, and I am certain it will be written. We would also very much appreciate your prayers for a just conclusion to this story.
THE FATHER MACRAE TRIAL
On September 23, 1994, Rev. Gordon J. MacRae was shackled and led out of Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene, New Hampshire, convicted of sexual assaults alleged to have occurred in 1983. Three times, prosecutors offered Father MacRae a plea deal to serve only one to three years. The innocent priest refused the deal, and was thus condemned by Judge Arthur Brennan to a life term of 33 1/2 to 67 years in prison. When the trial was over, accuser Thomas Grover received nearly $200,000 from the Diocese of Manchester.
No evidence of guilt was ever presented. Father MacRae says he is innocent. So do those who have looked honestly at this case, including Dorothy Rabinowitz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Wall Street Journal. Her three major articles on this perversion of justice led to renewed efforts to seek justice for Father Gordon MacRae.
In 2007, Cardinal Avery Dulles and Father Richard John Neuhaus asked Fr MacRae to write “a new chapter in the volume of Christian literature from those unjustly in prison.” The result is www.TheseStoneWalls.com, an award-winning Catholic blog described as “the finest example of priestly witness the last decade of scandal has produced.”
To learn more about the Father Gordon MacRae case, or to assist with support and legal costs, consult the following:
“The Trials of Father MacRae”
by Dorothy Rabinowitz, The Wall Street Journal
“The Ordeal of Father Gordon MacRae”
by Bill Donohue, Ph.D., Catholic League President
“A Catholic Priest Twenty Years Wrongly Imprisoned in America” by James Valladares, Ph.D., These Stone Walls
“The Post-trial Extortion of Father Gordon MacRae” by Ryan A. MacDonald, These Stone Walls
“Alarming New Evidence May Exonerate Imprisoned Priest” by David. F. Pierre, Jr., The Media Report
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THESE STONE WALLS:
There has been a very positive development in the Federal Habeas Corpus appeal of Father Gordon MacRae. United States District Court Judge Joseph LaPlante has ordered a hearing to consider oral arguments in the case slated for March 17, 2015 at 10 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Concord, NH. Father MacRae’s legal team will have to fly up from New York for this. Please keep this hearing in your prayers.
Should you wish to help offset the travel costs and lawyer fees for this hearing, please send your gift c/o Father Gordon MacRae to our Legal Fund at P.O. Box 863, Hampton, NH, 03842-0863 or you may use the active PayPal link on These Stone Walls (upper right corner of the page). Please consult our “Contact” page for alternative avenues of assistance. Thank you and God bless you.