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The Exile Nation Project - Janet Maddox Goree

‎"The man who murdered my grandchild got probation, and my son, who didn't hurt anyone, got 30 years. How can that be?"

In this special Exile Nation two-part report that examines the nature of "justice," Janet Maddox Goree, a Georgia, activist & lobbyist, reveals the pain and tragedy of having to lose a granddaughter to "Shaken-Baby Syndrome" and a son to drug addiction & incarceration.

The Land of the Free punishes or imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation. This collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on America’s criminal justice system puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the US Government's 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe: The War on Drugs; a failed policy underscored by fear, politics, racial prejudice and intolerance in a public atmosphere of "out of sight, out of mind."

JANET MADDOX GOREE

‎"The man who murdered my grandchild got probation, and my son, who didn't hurt anyone, got 30 years. How can that be?" ~ Janet Maddox Goree

Janet Maddox Goree is an activist/lobbyist living in the small town of Camilla, Georgia.

In 1993, while living in Florida, life changed forever for Janet and her family when her newborn granddaughter, Kimberlin, was shaken violently by her father and suffered injuries that eventually proved fatal.

Despite being the cause of his daughter's death, Kimberlin's father received only five years of probation as punishment. The shock and trauma of the whole ordeal shattered Janet, her daughter Nicole (Kimberlin's mother), and her son Bobby. Bobby and Nicole lost themselves in depression and substance abuse, and Janet threw herself into advocacy for "Shaken Baby Syndrome," eventually passing legislation in Florida under Governor Jeb Bush.

Sadly, Bobby never did recover. After years battling a heroin addiction, he eventually tried to kick his habit with methadone, and found that he was even more addicted than before.

Five years ago, after nearly dying while improperly detoxing, Bobby became deranged and fled the hospital, robbed a pharmacy of some pills, and tried to commit suicide by overdosing.

He was quickly caught and, incredulously, sentenced to 30 years in prison, where he currently resides. 

Janet would soon discover the hard way that justice is elusive and society is fickle. The sympathy she garnered as a victim's advocate quickly disappeared when she became known as the mother of a drug addict and convict.

 

This complete interview is #24 of 100 in The Exile Nation Project's archive, which can be found on ExileNation.org.

About the author

Charles Shaw is an award-winning journalist, editor and filmmaker, and the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics & Spirituality. He is currently working on a new film called I’m Still Here, a documentary on Trauma and Healing that will be released in 2015.


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