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In Spite of Innocence. Erroneous Convictions in Capital Cases. The Ordeal of 400 Americans wrongly convicted of Crimes punishable by Death.

Radelet, Michael L., Hugo Adam Bedau und Constance E. Putnam:

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ISBN 10: 1555531423 / ISBN 13: 9781555531423
Published by Boston, Northeastern University Press,, 1992
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Signed by all three authors! With a personal dedication by C. E. Putnam; the volume confronts the reader with how easily safeguards against mistaken convictions can fail. In showing that ordinary citizens, in spite of their innocence, can become trapped in the machinery of justice - even sentenced to die - the authors deliver a strong indictment against capitol punishment. CONDITION: Very few markings in text, otherwise in a very good condition. 1555531423 Sprache: Deutsch Gewicht in Gramm: 750 Groß-8°, hardbound, with dustjacket, 399 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 1888

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Bibliographic Details

Title: In Spite of Innocence. Erroneous Convictions...

Publisher: Boston, Northeastern University Press,

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1. Aufl..

About this title


Few errors made by a government can compare with the horror of executing an innocent person. But the ordeal of victims of judicial error is not measured only by whether they are executed. This sobering book tells the personal stories of over 400 innocent Americans convicted of capital crimes. Some were actually executed; most suffered years of incarceration, many on death row.
The volume confronts the reader with how easily safeguards against mistaken convictions can fail. In showing that ordinary citizens, in spite of their innocence, can become trapped in the machinery of justice - even sentenced to die - the authors deliver a strong indictment against capital punishment.
Michael L. Radelet, Hugo Adam Bedau, and Constance E. Putnam recount in alarming detail the mistaken identities, perjured witnesses, overzealous prosecutions, and negligent police work that led to more than 400 people being erroneously convicted of capital or potentially capital crimes in this country between 1900 and 1991. The authors describe the arduous routes these defendants traveled to prove their innocence; they demonstrate how frequently luck played a crucial role in freeing an innocent defendant; and they show how, all too often, public officials remained indifferent to evidence that an innocent person had been sentenced to death.
"Most Americans do not seriously distrust our criminal justice system or the efficiency and dedication of law enforcement officers," the authors acknowledge in their introduction. "At the same time we know that public servants are not infallible, and that honest errors and occasionally outright corruption do occur. How frequently in the past has the criminal justice system failed in a capital case to convict only the guilty? What explains these failures? How likely are they to happen in the future? How, if at all, can they be remedied or prevented?"
Radelet, Bedau, and Putnam argue that there is no remedy, no way to eliminate the risk of failures, even in what is admittedly the world's best criminal justice system, except to abolish the death penalty.

From Publishers Weekly:

Nearly 30 years ago, Tufts University philosopher Bedau, editor of The Death Penalty in America , began collecting evidence of innocent persons who were either executed or freed after being wrongfully convicted of murder and given lengthy imprisonment or death sentences. In 1987, Bedau and University of Florida sociologist Radelet ( Facing the Death Penalty ) published an influential article in the Stanford Law Review that described 350 such cases. In this volume, after further research, Putnam, a freelance writer and editor, joins with these scholars to present an instructive and detailed description of what happened in 23 of the 416 cases the authors have now documented. Among the "true crime" accounts included in this volume are those of Randall Dale Adams, featured in the film The Thin Blue Line , Isadore Zimmerman, who served more than 30 years in prison in upstate New York before being released, and Delbert Lee Tibbs, a black Chicago Theological Seminary student who was the victim of an incompetent police investigation. The authors conclude that "it was fickle good fortune rather than anything having to do with the rational workings of the criminal justice system" that spared those who were finally freed. A comprehensive "inventory of cases" briefly describes the hundreds of other instances in which the authors believe justice was not served.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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