April 6, 2009

New book reviews

In the mood for some spring reading? My review of The Wrong Guys by Tom Wells and Richard Leo is now available online at the California Lawyer website. Here is how the review begins:
Innocent people do not confess. Especially to rape and murder.

That is the belief of most people, including jurors, judges, attorneys, and even the very police detectives who induce false confessions. It is supported by TV police dramas, in which the cops always nail the guilty, and the guilty then tell all.

The belief is strengthened by the emotional nature of confessions. Jurors find such declarations the most compelling of all evidence. And once a jury votes to convict someone who has confessed, reversal or exoneration is well-nigh impossible.

The Norfolk Four case is the perfect vehicle to challenge this misguided faith. A routine investigation into the murder of a young sailor's wife in 1997 turned into a runaway train, as detectives blindly pursued a gang-rape scenario that was inconsistent with physical evidence suggesting a lone assailant. Each time a suspect's DNA failed to match the sample found at the crime scene, the detectives added another suspect, essentially at random, until their list grew to at least eight.
The review continues HERE.

Or, for true crime, fiction, or other recent books, here are a few of my most recent reviews on Amazon. As always, please help boost my reviewer rank -- and let me know that you are reading my stuff -- by clicking on "yes" if you find a review helpful:

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