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Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect its Children Hardcover – April 7, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0521886215 ISBN-10: 052188621X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052188621X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521886215
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,121,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hamilton's fabulous Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children ought to be required reading for anyone who needs convincing that sexually abused kids deserve their day in court, no matter how old they are when they come to terms with what was done to them. The book compellingly argues that the horror of child sexual abuse will continue unless the statute of limitations is lifted on prosecution of abusers and their enablers."
--Ronnie Polaneczky, Columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News



"In Justice Denied, Professor Hamilton has demonstrated the need for states to update their statute of limitation laws to protect children from sexual predators. In most states existing SOLs shelter predators from prosecution. Her many years as a child advocate provide compelling evidence for the reason why there should be NO Statute of Limitation for child abuse. A must read for everyone interested in the safety of children."
--Joy Wuenschel, Voice of the Faithful of Greater Philadelphia, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Justice4PAKids



"A powerful call to action by one of America's leading constitutional scholars. Hamilton makes clear what must be done if we are to prevent the continued sexual abuse of children."
--Jeff Dion, National Center for Victims of Crime

"Justice Denied is a MUST READ for ANY person wanting to protect children from sexual abuse."
--Maureen Martinez, Co-Founder, Justice4PAKids.com



"Justice Denied should be required reading for elected officials across the country. Marci Hamilton makes a compelling case that we don't need yet another registry for offenders or increase in sentencing. What we require is fundamental change in the rules that currently limit the ability of victims to seek redress in court. She shines a necessary light on who and what has prevented the implementation of those changes. This book is all about protecting kids."
--Michael Smerconish, nationally syndicated radio host, author & television personality



"My 19 years experience as Philadelphia's District Attorney taught me that most states need to reform their statutes of limitations for child sex abuse. Right now, most states let child predators off the hook as they disable child sex abuse victims from going to court. In Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children, Marci A. Hamilton, establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that we need statute of limitations reform to protect our children. Child sexual abuse victims typically cannot bring themselves to 'tell' about these crimes for years, even decades, and by then, the civil and criminal statutes of limitations have long since expired. Therefore, they are often left with no legal recourse to bring civil causes of action, compel discovery, or to take a case to a finder of fact. For this reason, I agree with Hamilton that we need passage of legislation allowing for civil 'windows' in every state. It is for the sake of justice, and for all such victims wherever situated, that a civil 'window' statute was, is, and remains one of my interests and goals-and an essential step. Hamilton further makes the case for why criminal statute of limitations, mandatory reporter requirements and other laws must also be strengthened nationwide. I believe that, for all who care about protecting our children Hamilton's book is required reading."
--Lynne Abraham, Former Philadelphia District Attorney



"Too many 'talk the talk' of making children a priority in society. What Hamilton has done with her book is to show a clear and simple way that policymakers can 'walk the walk'. . . [she] clearly and articulately connects the value of using civil law as a tool to protect children. "
--Ted Thompson, Executive Director, NAPSAC (National Association to Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Children)

"This brave book is one all lawmakers should read."
--Jason Berry, author of Lead Us Not Into Temptation



"In understandable, eloquent prose, Marci Hamilton makes the case for abolishing a statutory scheme that protects sexual predators and which closes our courtrooms to maltreated children. Although it is too late to claim the honor of having acted quickly to address this injustice, this book shows us how to avoid the disgrace of having never acted at all."
--Victor Vieth, Director, National Child Protection Training Center

"Hamilton is absolutely right: a vigorous and effective children's civil rights movement is long overdue . . . I applaud Marci Hamilton for leading the way with her outstanding legal scholarship, advocacy and passion for justice!"
--Eileen King, Regional Director, Justice For Children



"Hamilton provides a compelling case that demonstrates that the interests of insurance companies, unions, churches, and schools will always trump the safety of children unless we do something about it. Hamilton tells us what we can do, how to do it, and why it will work."
--Charol Shakeshaft, Chairperson and Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University

"Professor Hamilton combines genuine sensitivity to the plight of survivors of childhood sexual abuse with in depth expertise in the working of the legal system."
--Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, Director, Center on Children and Families, Fredric G. Levin College of Law, University of Florida



"A powerful call to action by one of America's leading constitutional scholars. Marci Hamilton makes clear what must be done if we are to prevent the continued sexual abuse of children."
--Jeff Dion, National Center for Victims of Crime



"...Hamilton tackles the issue head-on but in language that is clearly written and not full of unnecessary legalese...I encourage you to read Hamilton's book."
---Bucks County Courier Times, Diane Shea, Langhorne, adjunct professor, Holy Family University and former director, residential services for Elwyn, Inc.



"Professor Marci A Hamilton, a law professor at Cardozo School of Law, has written a strong and well researched book....a must-read for lawyers who have represented victims or, as Professor Hamilton refers to them, survivors, of sexual abuse."
--Herbert J. Friedman, The Nebraska Lawyer



"Justice Denied is about one of the most horrendous offenses against children short of murder: child sexual abuse....The author paints a vivid and shocking picture of child sexual abuse which should disavow the attitudes of those who think its limited to sinister looking street denizens in dirty trench coats.... Marci Hamilton's book is short and to the point. Its last sentence sums up the book and the cause: "It is an either/or choice: we can either protect the predators or the children." This book concludes with the hope that it will be so for the right of children and their parents to live in a society without fear of sexual assault."
-- Thomas P. Doyle, co-author of Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse



"Argues for removing states' statutes of limitation for cases of child sexual abuse..."
--Chronicle of Higher Education

"...an impassioned plea to lawmakers and the 'uniformed public' (p. 108) to tackle the problem of child sexual abuse in the United States..."
--Harvard Law Review

Book Description

In Justice Denied, Hamilton proposes the elimination of the arbitrary barrier that has kept survivors of childhood sexual abuse out of court - the statutes of limitation. Removing this merely procedural barrier permits the millions of survivors to make public the identities of their perpetrators and to receive justice and much-deserved compensation.

More About the Author

MARCI A. HAMILTON is one of the United States' leading constitutional law scholars, specializing in church/state issues. She is the author of JUSTICE DENIED: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge 2008, 2012) and GOD VS. THE GAVEL: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge 2005, 2007).

Hamilton is regularly cited in The New York Times, The Associated Press, MSNBC, and other news outlets; she is a columnist for The Huffington Post and FindLaw.com. Her website is www.sol-reform.com

Hamilton is frequently asked to advise Congress and state legislatures on the constitutionality of pending legislation and to consult in cases involving important constitutional issues. She is the First Amendment and constitutional law advisor for victims in many clergy abuse cases involving many religious institutions, including the federal bankruptcies filed by the Portland Archdiocese, Spokane Diocese, and San Diego Diocese. She was also lead counsel for the City of Boerne, Texas, in Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), before the Supreme Court in its seminal federalism and church/state case holding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act unconstitutional.

A former clerk for Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Hamilton holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. She lives in Philadelphia and New York.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Patrick Doyle on May 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Children had almost no personal rights through the middle ages. They were often punished as adults but had less perceived value than chattel. In our era we pride ourselves on our enlightened approach to childens' rights and welfare. If you believe we are truly enlightened this book will shatter that belief. Professor Hamilton describes the legal quirk whereby victims of child abuse are denied their day in court and perpetrating abusers are enabled by the law. The concept of the Statute of Limitations is designed to prevent miscarriages of justice yet in the case of child abuse it promotes them. Child abuse abvocates and victims have struggled for changes in State legislation to promote laws that are far more protective of children and their rights. The shocker is that the two institutions that have done the most to prevent enlightened legislation are the institutional Catholic Church, mostly the bishops, and the insurance industry. The Church is afraid to bare its secrets and lose its power (and money too) and the insurance industry blatantly puts its money way before the welfare of children. This book is solid. It is not a polemic. It is a painful and at times shocking revelation of well documented facts by a leading constitutional legal scholar and fearless advocate for the rights of children. Get the book. You'll be shocked, scandalized, angry and hopefully motivated to insist that your lawmakers do the right thing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George J. Rossi Jr. on May 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an informative book written by an expert in the subject of statutes of limitation [SOL] on sexual abuse against children. It was timely for me, as the Florida legislature had just passed a law doing away with SOL'S for the crime of sex abuse against children. I wrote to our Governor an urged him to sign the new legislation into law. Gov. Crist did sign the bill and it goes into effect on July 1, 2010. That's a god thing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Loretta J. Hanley on May 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a survivor, and a recovering Catholic.
.
I suffered at the hands of family members and religious heathens!
.
With a stroke of the pen those SOL laws can be abolished.
.
I have waited for many years. I thought this book would start the long process of vindication for us. Like millions before and since me, we wait. Will justice ever come to us? Or will the politicians continue to aide and abet in the protection of those that harmed for life all of the little children, still hiding in the shadows, of shame and hurt.
.
Ms. Hamilton, will you stand for us or continue to fall for the lies and procrastinations, of your fellow colleagues in the legal realms? Will you demand justice for us and those that are being abused as I write this? Will you do for us, as you do for those you represent in a court of law? Will you do your Grandfather proud,...again? Or leave a legacy of shame for your children?
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Diane J. Shea on April 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Hamilton tackles the complex issue of childhood sexual abuse head on yet in language that is clearly written and not full of unnecessary legalese. She argues that the legal system has obstinately persisted in supporting the sexual predators at the expense of victimized children. For Hamilton, the solution is simple. The statute of limitations for sexual offenses against children must be eliminated. But simple is not apparent, especially to those with a vested interest in keeping those victimized out of the courtroom.

Many in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church have actively and successfully lobbied in numerous states to defeat legislation that even opens a window of opportunity for victims. Yet, Hamilton is not guilty of Church bashing. She acknowledges the role that the Church has played in this arena but points to the insurance lobbyists as the primary, albeit quieter, barrier. So too have teacher unions, some defense attorneys, and finally the many of us who might fall into the category of uniformed public, been complicit in looking out for something or someone other than children who need a voice.

Of the many arguments that Hamilton proposes, one that I support wholeheartedly is those who have been sexually abused are not likely to report their abuse until adulthood and the rate of nondisclosure is estimated to be nearly 90%. In my own research I found that over 25% of those abused by a priest did not disclose until after that age of 49. Of those abused by someone other than a priest, 28% had not disclosed until the ages of 40-49.

The benefits of abolishing the statute of limitations seem obvious. I agree with Hamilton. We will have better knowledge of those among us who have abused children. More children will have greater protection.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maryjean Mccarty on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is all about changing the statute of limitations for victims of child abuse with a lot of background on all of the places and people it would impact. Well written and easily understandable.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peter C. Kuzma on April 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Hamilton makes a complex and embarassing issue easy to understand and correct. Childhood sexual abuse is a topic no one wants to believe happens. Hamilton focuses on the present law's limitations and how to protect future generations of children from this nightmare. Every state legislator should be made to read this book.
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