*The below report includes a description of child abuse and sexual assault, and may be triggering to some readers.
A Kentucky community responded in collective outrage after a man was deemed unable to stand trial after he raped and fractured the skull of an 8-year-old child with a shovel in 2019.
The identify and race of the child remains unknown because of their age, but the incident occurred in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Louisville. Social media users claim that the child is Black.
On March 11, Louisville Judge Annie O’Connell ruled that Cane Madden was mentally incompetent and unlikely to regain competency, dismissing the case under a state law which says that people can only be held or hospitalized against their will if treatment will benefit them, WDRB reports.
This Cane Madden case is sickening. How isn’t this being talked about more? The state of Kentucky should be embarrassed, it’s system has failed once again! This is so sad man, women and children aren’t safe! No one is! pic.twitter.com/GemcIhESzf
— Oli (@jordano1ison) March 22, 2021
Community supporters rallied around the child and launched a Change.org petition early last year advocating that Madden remain imprisoned.
“Why was his right to walk the streets ‘again’ ever considered more important than the community’s constitutional right to have safe and healthy neighborhoods?” a statement on the Change.org petition reads. “Children should be safe in their own back yards! Instead we have a severely abused child who will never be the same. The community now demands that Cane Madden not be released!”
Prior to the rape case, Madden was found mentally incompetent and released after he sexually assaulted a woman and bit off part of her face in 2017. Judge O’Connell also presided over that case.
Madden was hospitalized after but was released under the Kentucky statute . Months later he was arrested again for breaking into a business. A judge released him to a hospital, but less than 24 hours after he was discharged, Madden assaulted the young child after finding her playing outside of her home.
Cane Madden 🤬 example of white privilege pic.twitter.com/D6PPsrfVRr
— Zitlali 🦋 (@ZitlaliHuerta) March 24, 2021
He was charged with first-degree rape, assault and robbery after he stole the girl’s iPad.
A psychiatrist who evaluated Madden claims he suffers from “profound” mental issues including, social incompetence, intermittent explosive disorder, brief psychotic disorder, learning disorder and PTSD as a result of being abused as a child. Madden also once smeared feces on the wall of a hospital and voiced he wanted to rape women and harm animals and children, according to WDRB.
Community members however, feel their mental health and wellness is at stake without some form of action being taken, in spite of the statute.
“He has a revolving door when he goes to court,” said Yolanda Walker, with the California Neighborhood Leadership Council. “Whatever he does next, I just feel like (the judge has) blood on her hands.”
Exonerated! Falsely Accused Black Folks Freed From Prison
1. Herbert Alford
1 of 15
A Michigan man who spent nearly five years in custody is suing Hertz for failing to produce in a timely manner a receipt that would have proved his innocence long before he was convicted of a 2011 murder. https://t.co/kZaI5tdOv4— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 12, 2021
2. Walter Forbes
2 of 15
“I don’t hold contempt for the people who lied to convict me ... The reason is selfish: I wasn’t going to allow them to destroy me," said Walter Forbes, freed and exonerated last week after 37 years with the help of @UofMInnocence. https://t.co/WfanIitchU— The Innocence Project (@innocence) December 14, 2020
3 of 15
An innocent Philadelphia man has been freed after spending 19 years in prison because two police officers wrongly claimed he’d raped a woman and then shot at them, when he’d in fact saved her from a different man .Attorneys for Termaine Joseph Hicks claim cops made up the story . pic.twitter.com/FJp5DQUMoQ— HJ (Hank) Ellison (@hjtherealj) December 18, 2020
4. Clifford Williams, Nathan Myers
4 of 15
After a combined 86 years incarcerated for a crime they did not commit, Clifford Williams Jr. and his nephew, Nathan Myers, were exonerated and released last week! Mr. Myers was 18 when he was arrested and is now 61. Mr. Williams was 33 and is now 76. https://t.co/EH2qPCspEj— Equal Justice Initiative (@eji_org) April 5, 2019
5. Calvin BrightSource:WUSA9 5 of 15
6. Kevin Baker, Sean Washington
6 of 15
Kevin Baker and Sean Washington received life terms in 1996 that were overturned on appeal in December https://t.co/MSWoxkwPzi— Courier-Post (@cpsj) February 4, 2020
7. Theophalis Wilson
7 of 15
Theophalis Wilson was 17-years-old when he was falsely accused of a triple murder in Philadelphia and sentenced to life in prison. Now, 28 years later, he finally has his freedom. He spoke with @KeithJones https://t.co/mVDISp68hy pic.twitter.com/RQ2pEdZBfM— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) January 22, 2020
8. Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins, and Andrew Stewart
8 of 15
And they are out: Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart walk out of the Baltimore city courthouse after 36 yrs for a crime they didn’t do: pic.twitter.com/5UDGWMZmOB— Tom Jackman (@TomJackmanWP) November 25, 2019
9. Deandre Charles9 of 15
10. Exonerated Five - Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise10 of 15
11. Anthony Ray Hinton
11 of 15
Name: Anthony Ray Hinton, who was on Alabama’s Death Row for nearly 30 years for a murder he didn’t commit. In 2018, he wrote about his experience in the NYT bestseller, The Sun Does Shine.— City of Birmingham (@cityofbhamal) October 4, 2019
Occupation: Works in community education with the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery pic.twitter.com/EwiaJueimb
12. Lamar Johnson12 of 15
13. Wilbert Jones
13 of 15
Louisiana man freed from prison after serving 43 years for a crime he did not commit. Wilbert Jones was arrested in 1971 at the age of 19 and convicted of rape in 1974. A judge overturned his conviction weeks ago. He still had to pay $2,000 bail before becoming a free man today. pic.twitter.com/LYV4gbTPOf— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) November 15, 2017
14. Xavier DavisSource:Courtesy of Xavier Davis 14 of 15
15. Huwe Burton
15 of 15
2,372nd Exon: Huwe Burton was convicted in 1991 for stabbing his mother to death when he was 16. He was exonerated on Jan 24th after an investigation showed that his confession was coerced and that his mother's real killer was likely a downstairs neighbor. https://t.co/TM3f76moQ5 pic.twitter.com/rsU1NlPr2y— Exoneration Registry (@exonerationlist) February 4, 2019