By C. (Clarence) Ronald Huff, Arye Rattner, Edward Sagarin
Addressing the explicit matters surrounding wrongful convictions and their implications for society, Convicted yet Innocent contains: survey information in regards to the attainable importance of the matter and its motives; attention-grabbing genuine case samples; distinct analyses of the most important elements linked to wrongful conviction; dialogue of public coverage implications; and proposals for decreasing the prevalence of such convictions. The authors retain that whereas no process of justice should be ideal, a spotlight on preventable blunders can considerably decrease the variety of present conviction injustices.
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Extra info for Convicted But Innocent: Wrongful Conviction and Public Policy
When this period of mass hysteria eventually passed and peace returned to the community, it became apparent that the accused who had forfeited their lives had not done so entirely in vain: The memory of the witch-hunts remained an unpleasant reminder of the potential for injustice in the new nation that would soon be born. However, the memory of the events that took place in Salem was unable to protect the nation from such mistakes as the Palmer raids and the McCarthy era. A Nineteenth-Centur y Case : Th e Dreyfu s Affai r Among the causes cetebres the name of Alfred Dreyfus stands out, unparalleled for the upheaval that it brought about, for its repercussions not only in France but throughout much of the rest of the world.
His wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was the daughter of a wealthy and highly visible family. Hauptmann, on the other hand, was a German immigrant carpenter who had a criminal record—a convenient scapegoat who, following a 2-year nationwide and frenzied search for the abducted (and, it turned out, murdered) baby, was arrested, convicted, and executed for the "crime of the century," as some 30 CONVICTE D B U T INNOCEN T referred to it. The case involved a grossly unfair series of police, prosecutorial, and judicial actions, including a circuslike trial conducted in a hypercharged, nearly hysterical atmosphere, and a professionally inadequate defense attorney who kept Lindbergh's photograph on his desk, worshipped the victim's father, and put on one of the weakest defenses ever witnessed in a high-profile felony trial in the United States.
Kennedy's reconstruction of the events shows that Hauptmann was friends with a German immigrant and con artist named Isidor Fisch, to whom Hauptmann entrusted some of his own funds. Upon discovering that Fisch had died while visiting Germany, Hauptmann opened a package Fisch had left with him and discovered that it contained money. Unfortunately for Hauptmann, the money was part of the ransom paid in the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping and included marked bills. Hauptmann, apparently feeling he was entitled to this money (because Fisch had died and Hauptmann had no idea how to recover his own funds that had been in Fisch's possession), naively and freely spent the marked bills, leading the police directly to his door.