Gran Stand
October 1999

231O-020-019 And justice for none: Mary Franks took the law into her own hands.

The treatment that Mary Franks received at the hands of the "justice" system as presented in "The Vigilante Grandma" [August] made my blood boil‑and W. Duncan Whitney's claim that "we needed to send a clear message that vigilante justice won't be tolerated" sent me over the edge. If this so‑called prosecutor (although "persecutor" is a more apt job description) had taken his oath to heart, he would have tried to send a clear message that child molesta­tion and child sexual abuse will not be tolerated! It's yet another glaring example of the empathy we far too often afford our criminals while meting out stiff punishment to the real victims. Not only is Mary Franks being unjustly punished, but so are the grandchildren whom she can no longer see without the supervision of child welfare workers.
-Deardra Green‑Campbell via e‑mail

What a tragic comedy of errors…In an ideal world, they would lock up the useless mother of the abused girl (after sterilizing her, of course), lock up the scum stepfather who abused her, fire the inept social worker as well as the prosecutor who neglected the victim's well‑being, and give those girls right back to their loving and brave grandmother.
Hooray for you, Mary Franks!
-Name withheld

Bravo, Mary Franks. To hell with the phrase "vigilante granny." Mrs. Franks is a hero. If you dis­agree, ask one of the kids who have suffered the nightmare of abuse alone, waiting for help that inevitably never comes. By the time family law-enforcement agencies step in to help, the child has been damaged for life. The people who prosecuted Mrs. Franks should hang their heads in shame, and people like W. Duncan Whitney shouldn't even be allowed to deal with such cases, since he is obviously as ignorant as the "rednecks" he speaks of.
-Margaret Morris Islamorada, FL

After reading your article on Mary Franks's efforts to keep her son‑in-law away from her grandchild, I felt rewarded. It is good to know that there are other people out there who feel the same way. I believe that our government has become too lenient toward sex offenders (in this case, especially), and someone needs to send them the message that we refuse to tolerate these horrifying acts. I admit, maybe Franks carried this to an extreme, but someone needs to! More power to you, Mary!
-Kathryn Ray Calhoun, GA