Be prepared to have any prior concepts about the death penalty upended and turned inside out. The police failed to focus at all on another likely suspect — Jimmy Holloway. Police immediately arrested Edward Lee Elmore, a semiliterate, developmentally delayed black man with no previous felony record. Elmore had been on death row for eleven years when a young attorney named Diana Holt first learned of his case. I remember sitting in school in 7th grade, counting down the seconds to the execution of Caryl Chessman. The only connection the police had was a check made out to Elmore and his fingerprint on a windowsill.
Here is more on this book This is a lucid, page-turning account of the trials and death row appeals of Edward Lee Elmore, a quiet and mentally challenged African-American man accused of the brutal murder of an elderly white woman in South Carolina in 1982, and the remarkably dedicated legal team that fought for him to have fair representation in court after three separate, grossly mismanaged jury trials. The only place the book really misses, is that I knew where it was going. He is now free thanks to the unstinting efforts of his attorneys. Elmore said that Anderson smelled of alcohol every day of trial. The focus is the courts, not the police, but in telling the story of the miscarriage of justice perpetrated against Edward Elmore, a retarded African American man convicted of the murder of his employer, it exposes some of the corruption and prejudice in law enforcement as a whole. However, after the book was published, his conviction was overturned and he was released.
In fairness to Bonner, many of these criticisms may stem from the fact that I have a law degree and teach law-related courses. Told with a reporter's tenacity, a lawyer's acumen, and an advocate's zeal, this book is both a gripping narrative and a chilling indictment of America's justice system. Bonner's book is not a treatise against the death penalty. In January 1982, an elderly white widow was found brutally murdered in the small town of Greenwood, South Carolina. This should be required reading for anyone who believes in justice.
Since this book has b Although the story is compelling and horrifying--an elderly white woman is brutally murdered in her home, and an innocent, mildly retarded African-American man who had done a scant amount of handywork for her is charged--Bonner's writing is dry and dull. After attending the University of Texas School of Law, Holt was eager to help the disenfranchised and voiceless; she herself had been a childhood victim of abuse. It used to be you could be put to death for stealing a loaf of bread or even marrying a Jew. Justice was not done in this case regardless of the guilt or innocence of the defendant. For all that, however, Anatomy of Injustice is also a blistering indictment of the death penalty. The first action taken in federal court in 2004 was to seek a stay of execution, but Bonner does not explain the legal basis for making this request.
Because of that there is a lot of discussion of trials and testimony. Days before her murder, Elmore had cleaned the gutters and washed the windows of Mrs. One of his lawyers used a racist slur to refer to him. Oh boy was I interested. As I said at the beginning, with all that is going on in the country now days past the Baltimore riots as of this writing , this book is highly relevant to all Americans.
Anatomy of Injustice moves as swiftly as a great courtroom thriller, and Bonner's astutely observed characters are as memorable as any you're likely to encounter in a John Grisham-penned best seller. The book of the century about the death penalty. They married in the Summer of 1989. But be warned: If you have pressing duties waiting, don't begin reading this book. But at the end of the day, our system is indeed grounded on facts and evidence.
It's hard to read these chapters without tears. An utterly engrossing true-crime tale. Despite Elmore's Alford plea allowing him to be released from prison with South Carolina maintaining he was guilty and thus denying Elmore any recompense, his lawyers filed a state civil suit demanding evidence exonerating him be reviewed: it went as far a judge who would have allowed an investigation of police corruption to go forward. Bonner makes us feel the frustration and inhumanity of a justice system gone awry. If you are a staunch advocate of the death penalty. With the exemplary moral commitment and tenacious investigation that have distinguished his reporting career, Raymond Bonner follows the efforts of a courageous young attorney, Dianna Holt, to save Elmore's life.
For all that, however, Anatomy of Injustice is also a blistering indictment of the death penalty. Rather, it was the subject matter that was incredibly frustrating at times, because the issues involved in Elmore's story are issues I care deeply about. The crime is described in harrowing detail. The arrest and conviction of Edward Lee Elmore, a semiliterate, mentally retarded black man with no previous felony record is a textbook example of what can go wrong in the American justice system. This case has about everything that could possibly be wrong with American justice and almost nothing that is right. The death penalty system in America is messed up; this I know from my own personal experience working within it.
To conclude otherwise would all but paralyze our system for enforcement of the criminal law. I was an experienced hand. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Holt and Jensen as well as others , the U. If the state courts had defaulted in their job, that would be one thing, but it is hard to find a case that received a more thorough review under the well-settled Strickland standard than this one did. Throughout, the actions and motivations of both unlikely heroes and shameful villains in our justice system are vividly revealed. Until Diana Holt and her team stepped in, finally giving him reason to hope.