Copyright (c) 1995 University of Dayton Law Review
University of Dayton Law Review
COMMENT: FACILITATED COMMUNICATION--JUST ANOTHER ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE ISSUE FOR COURTS?
20 Dayton L. Rev. 935
Jennifer L. McGarrity
There is a knocking in the skull,
An endless silent shout
of something beating on the wall,
And crying, Let me out.
That solitary prisoner
Will never hear reply,
No comrade in eternity
Can hear the frantic cry.
No heart can share the terror
That haunts his monstrous dark;
The light that filters through the chinks
No other eye can mark.
When flesh is linked with eager flesh,
And words run warm and full,
I think that he is loneliest then,
The captive in the skull.
Caught in a mesh of living veins,
In cell of padded bone,
He loneliest is when he pretends
That he is not alone.
We'd free the incarcerate race of man
That such a doom endures
Could only you unlock my skull,
Or I creep into yours.
The question before the Court is simple--have we heard the frantic cry of a child? The answer is far from simple. 1
A family court judge in New York cited the foregoing passage to begin the opinion of a neglect proceeding involving a sixteen-year-old, nonvocal autistic 2 child who was allegedly sexually abused by her father. 3 An out-of-court statement contained the child's accusations against her father. 4 The child allegedly made the statement through a controversial method of augmentative communication 5 known as "facilitated communication." 6 The issue before the court in Jenny S. was whether the alleged statement was admissible as evidence. 7 The court held that the applicable standard ...
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