[Post updated 1/24 to add a link]
With each passing year, the absurdity of the Little Rascals charges has become more obvious. But no admission of error has ever come from prosecutors, police, interviewers or parents.
It can be hard, in calmer times, to imagine the power of a moral panic like the one in Edenton, itself part of a broader national hysteria. Lisa and I wrote about the case and in our reporting found a community where rational people seemed afraid to dissent from the fantastical narrative. As young parents ourselves we were sympathetic to the families we met, but clearly things had gone very wrong in Chowan County.
Certainly the State of North Carolina did not appreciate our efforts, as the letter above from the state DOJ shows; Mr. Hart seems to remain a part of our state's top legal team. (I hope to post our pre-web article soon. Here's a PDF of the 1993 Elle article.)
More than a year ago, Powell petitioned Attorney General Roy Cooper to acknowledge the injustice done to the Edenton Seven. Cooper has not responded.