Damned to Eternity: The Man Who Caused a Flood: The Story of the Man Who They Said Caused the Flood

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9780306815270: Damned to Eternity: The Man Who Caused a Flood: The Story of the Man Who They Said Caused the Flood
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James Scott was twenty-four years old when he was first convicted in 1994-and then again in 1998-of intentionally causing a catastrophe. His alleged crime was causing a levee to break, which flooded over 14,000 acres of farmland during the Great Midwestern Floods of '93. Though no one died, he was the first and only person in Missouri history convicted under this obscure 1979 law and is now serving a life sentence. He won't be eligible for his first parole hearing until 2023, when he will be fifty-five years old. In Damned to Eternity, Adam Pitluk contends that James Scott was a victim of a federal agency, a town, and law enforcement hell-bent on blaming him for something he maintains he didn't do.

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Review:

The Reader 5/8/08
“Both sides of the case are presented with little editorializing from Pitluk...Pitluk tethers all of the research and interviews in this book to a seamless narrative.”Midwest Book Review
“Eye-opening and revealing.”


Metapsychology Online Reviews, 12/16/08
“[A] fascinating true story...Interesting and compulsive...A testament to [Pitluk’s] uncompromising investigation of the events, and his dogged defense of the accused. He masterfully recounts the impending disaster in a flowing narrative that creates tension and suspense. Although an account of actual events, the pace of this book gives it the sense of unfolding and tension that is integral to good crime fiction. If you are interested in legal intrigue and conspiracy, which is clearly explained and fascinatingly recounted, then this book is to be highly recommended...[It] shows that witch-hunts do still occur, and that the pressure of the masses can outweigh common-sense and compromise just legal process.”

Synopsis:

In the tradition of "The Innocent Man", this is the story of James Scott, jailed for life for a crime he didn't commit. James Scott was twenty four years old when he was convicted twice in 1994 and 1998 respectively, of intentionally causing a catastrophe, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment in the US state of Missouri. His alleged crime was causing a levee to break, which flooded over 14,000 acres of farmland during the Great Midwestern Floods of 1993. Though no-one died, he was the second person ever convicted under this obscure twenty-year law, and was given the maximum life sentence because he was deemed to be a repeat offender. He won't be eligible for his first parole hearing until 2025, when he will be fifty seven years old. In "Damned to Eternity", Adam Pitluk proves in convincing fashion that if Scott had committed the crime he was accused of, he would have drowned. Tracking down key witnesses, including an Army Corps of Engineers' employee who implies there was a cover-up by the agency, Pitluk contends that James Scott was a victim of a federal agency, a town, and a policeman hell-bent on blaming him for a crime he didn't commit.

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