Justice for Henry

 Posted by on 22 March 2011 at 7:00 am  Law, Parenting
Mar 222011

As many of you know, I’ve long been a fan of Katie Granju, and I was deeply saddened to read of the tragic death of her teenage son Henry last year. Yesterday, I read Katie’s detailed account of the facts of her son’s death and the subsequent investigation (or lack thereof) posted to Justice for Henry. It was harrowing — and deeply disturbing.

Here’s my basic view, based on what I’ve read: Henry had a serious drug problem, and his self-destructive choices certainly set the stage for his death. Nonetheless, he did not die of a simple overdose of his own doing. Others were involved — and they should be held legally responsible.

Inadvertently, Henry put himself in the power of some very dangerous people. Those people violated his rights: they gave him excessive drugs under false assurances; they took him to their home; they assaulted him severely, and they refused to call for an ambulance. Later, he died as a result of complications from the overdose, but if he’d lived, he would have been profoundly disabled.

In short, Henry’s death seems to have been a crime — or at least, serious crimes were committed in the events leading to his death. Yet the people responsible are still at liberty — and amazingly enough, regarded with favor by the Knoxville authorities. Critical witnesses have not been interviewed, and compelling evidence has been ignored.

For months, Katie has been silent about what she knows, in the hopes that private requests to law enforcement would result in a serious investigation. Unfortunately that has not happened. It might only be happening now that Katie writing and posting all that she knows on Justice for Henry.

I hope that local authorities conduct a serious, honest investigation — even if only due to public pressure. Justice should be done — and that means uncovering and prosecuting any person who violated Henry’s rights in the last few days of his life. Even when a person puts himself as risk by his own wrong choices, as Henry clearly did, he still retains his rights. Criminals who choose “easy targets” to prey upon should not be given a free pass. They are still dangerous, destructive, and fully deserving of punishment. That’s part and parcel of “equality before the law.”

I hope that the authorities in Knoxville see that and act accordingly. Justice should be done.

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