Tags: justina pelletier | begs | release

Justina Pelletier Begs For Release in New Video: 'Please Let Me Go Home'

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 11:50 AM

Justina Pelletier, the 16-year-old who was taken from her parents and made a ward of the Massachusetts government more than a year ago, posted a video plea to Facebook begging to be released and allowed to live with her family once again.

"Please let me go home right now," she tells the camera. "You can do it. You’re the one that’s judging this. Please let me go home Judge Johnson and Gov. Patrick."

Boston.com reported that the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families allowed Pelletier to visit her family for the weekend to attend her sister's dance recital, at which time Lou Pelletier, Justina's father, said she and her sister made the video.

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"Through the entire 16 months of this tragedy, the one person we’ve not heard from publicly is Justina herself," said Reverend Patrick Mahoney, the Pelletier family’s spokesperson. "Now we can see her in her own words asking Judge Johnston and Gov. Patrick for her release."

The video comes as the latest development in a long and controversial saga.

Justina first entered the Boston Children's Hospital in February 2013 after showing symptoms related to mitochondrial disease, which Tufts doctors had diagnosed her with back in 2011. Medical staff at Boston Children's Hospital questioned the diagnosis and said they believed Pelletier's symptoms — which included weakness, headaches, and abdominal pain — were psychological.

Those doctors then re-diagnosed her with somatoform disorder, a mental condition, and accused Lou and Linda Pelletier, Justina's parents, of medical child abuse. She was then taken into custody by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

In a decision that's sparked outrage among many, Judge Joseph Johnston ruled in March that Pelletier's parents were "unfit to care for the complex medical and psychiatric needs of their daughter," and that any decisions regarding Pelletier or her placement were solely granted to the state department.

According to The Boston Globe, the state department then laid out a series of conditions the Pelletiers must meet in order to regain custody of Justina. The newspaper reported this week that the family had met all of the conditions, but a date for turning over the child has not yet been established.

In April, former Harvard law professor and high-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz announced that he would join the Pelletiers in their fight to regain their daughter.

At the time, he said he'd hoped to get to the bottom of the gag order the judge imposed on the parents, which stipulated they could not talk to the press during the proceedings. He said it was "without a doubt unconstitutional."



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Justina Pelletier, the 16-year-old who was taken from her parents and made a ward of the Massachusetts government more than a year ago, posted a video plea to Facebook begging to be released and allowed to live with her family once again.
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Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 11:50 AM
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