Anatomy of Injustice A Murder Case Gone Wrong The book that helped free an innocent man who had spent twenty seven years on death row In January an elderly white widow was found brutally murdered in the small town of Greenwood South Caroli

  • Title: Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong
  • Author: Raymond Bonner
  • ISBN: 9780307957368
  • Page: 338
  • Format: ebook
  • The book that helped free an innocent man who had spent twenty seven years on death row In January 1982, an elderly white widow was found brutally murdered in the small town of Greenwood, South Carolina Police immediately arrested Edward Lee El, a semiliterate, mentally retarded black man with no previous felony record His only connection to the victim was having clThe book that helped free an innocent man who had spent twenty seven years on death row In January 1982, an elderly white widow was found brutally murdered in the small town of Greenwood, South Carolina Police immediately arrested Edward Lee El, a semiliterate, mentally retarded black man with no previous felony record His only connection to the victim was having cleaned her gutters and windows, but barely ninety days after the victim s body was found, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death El had been on death row for eleven years when a young attorney named Diana Holt first learned of his case 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 required little scrutiny for Holt to discern that El s case plagued by incompetent court appointed defense attorneys, a virulent prosecution, and both misplaced and contaminated evidence reeked of injustice It was the cause of a lifetime for the spirited, hardworking lawyer Holt would spend than a decade fighting on El s behalf With the exemplary moral commitment and tenacious investigation that have distinguished his reporting career, Bonner follows Holt s battle to save El s life and shows us how his case is a textbook example of what can go wrong in the American justice system He reviews police work, evidence gathering, jury selection, work of court appointed lawyers, latitude of judges, iniquities in the law, prison informants, and the appeals process Throughout, the actions and motivations of both unlikely heroes and shameful villains in our justice system are vividly revealed Moving, suspenseful, and enlightening, Anatomy of Injustice is a vital contribution to our nation s ongoing, increasingly important debate about inequality and the death penalty.From the Hardcover edition.

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    One thought on “Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong”

    1. Do not read this book unless you are prepared to have your views on the death penalty and our American justice system challenged. This is a powerful story of a South Carolina murder trial where planted evidence and perjury were used to convict and sentence to death a mentally retarded African American man; it's the story of inept defense lawyers and a politically driven "justice" system which rewards winning over fairness and truth - even when a man's life is at stake. This journey through our c [...]

    2. I remember sitting in school in 7th grade, counting down the seconds to the execution of Caryl Chessman. I was not one of those who cheered when the clock struck the hour. I think even at that age, I was uncomfortable with the whole idea of the state killing someone. Today I’m against capital punishment for most situations, partly because I’m come to realize how incompetent the state and justice system usually are and that most punishment in this country, at least, has less to do with justic [...]

    3. I read it in two nights. It blew me away. ANATOMY OF INJUSTICE is about the murder of an elderly white woman in Greenwood, South Carolina in 1982. The crime is described in harrowing detail. The police arrested a simpleminded black man named Edward Lee Elmore and he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in a matter of weeks. It's hard to read these chapters without tears. After years of ineptitude, appeals, setbacks, and meanness, an unlikely hero emerges in the struggle to win justice fo [...]

    4. I read a lot about the injustices of our "justice" system, so I did not expect to be all that surprised by the details in this book. I was, in fact, shocked. The enormity of corruption and prejudice, from the police to the lawyers (both prosecution and so-called defense) and right to the judge, is just appalling. While the initial trial was a farce, what really struck me hard were the hurdles and blockades involved in obtaining a new, fair trial. Once a person has been convicted, the system want [...]

    5. This was one of those books that I wanted to throw at the wall every 5 minutes. But not in a bad way -- there was nothing wrong with the book itself! 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. I think this is a book that anybody who is interested in our criminal justice system, or in law, or basically just society at all should read.I should add, as a sort of disclaimer, that prior to s [...]

    6. In these days, when police brutality, inequality, and reactions to them are tearing our country apart, this book is especially relevant. 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. “Anatomy” is an apt word for the title because the author dissects the evide [...]

    7. I don't know why I keep picking up or listening to Death Penalty cases lately, but this book should really get more than 5 stars because it changed and changes lives. This is an incredibly powerful book. The title nails the subject matter exactly. Raymond Bonner examines very closely the case of Edward Lee Elmore from beginning to end (almost as there is a final update this spring). This case has about everything that could possibly be wrong with American justice and almost nothing that is right [...]

    8. I read this last spring but had forgotten about it (and wasn't doing much with at the time) until I saw the new movie West of Memphis last week. The cases are different, but the struggles are similar. Most striking is the fact that proving a conviction to have been false -- to say nothing of trying to prove innocence -- requires untold hours, money and determination. There's no conspiracy quite so potent as massed incompetence and the collective institutional will to protect its results.

    9. Another sad story of an innocent man stuck on death row for decades. There are far too many of these cases, but this one is particularly infuriating because of the blatant racism, the lies, the planted evidence, the lost evidence, the defense attorney who did no work and put up no defense, and the prosecutors and judges who, repeatedly, ignored the facts and evidence and denied this man true due process and justice. Until Diana Holt and her team stepped in, finally giving him reason to hope.Very [...]

    10. Anatomy of Injustice: a Murder Case Gone Wrong,by Raymond Bonner, Narrated by Mark Bramhall, Produced by Blackstone Audio, Downloaded from audible.When the governor of Illinois put a moratorium on putting criminals on death row to death due to alarming statistics in Illinois showing that several were innocent, and when Governor George Bush of Texas, the state with the most criminals put to death, said that he had no reason to think that innocent people were being put to death in Texas, the New Y [...]

    11. Edward Lee Elmore was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to die for the murder of Dorothy Ely Edwards and elderly rich white widow. The only connection the police had was a check made out to Elmore and his fingerprint on a windowsill. Since Elmore had down handyman work for Edwards this was not surprising, the police and prosecuting attorney decided it did. Elmore was a poor young black man of limited education and intelligence, combined with the ineptness of his attorneys' incompetence, a [...]

    12. Similar in a way to Grisham's The Innocent Man, this is a story of justice gone astray. Actually the death penalty is not so much about justice, as it is about revenge. If you still believe in the death penalty after reading this book, then nothing will persuade you. To think that such irresponsible legal and police procedural shenanigans could occur in the U.S. is truly a sobering (and depressing) thought. The manner in which this case and others described in the book were handled by the partie [...]

    13. A fantastic, fast, and accessible narrative of the racial inequities of the criminal justice system, especially in capital cases and especially in the South. The book's events unfold not during the Jim Crow era, but over 1982-2012; it's depressing and enraging how racial prejudice remains alive and well. Even more depressing and enraging is the role played by numerous appellate and state supreme court justices-- one might expect the police and prosecutors to plant evidence to frame a black man, [...]

    14. "Anatomy of Injustice" explores the case of a death row inmate in South Carolina, who as a young black man, was convicted of murdering a elderly white woman. Ultimately, an appeal was filed by a young attorney, Diana Holt, who came upon his case and discovered injustice, incompetence, and corruption in his case. Holt's battle against injustice is both enlightening and engaging, and like Scott Turow's book "Ultimate Punishment", provides a critical look at the often unfair application of the deat [...]

    15. This true-crime book centers around the murder of a well-to-do single, white, older woman in a small town. The man immediately accused is her black, slightly retarded, handyman. It takes us through 3 trials, appeals, and 38 years of this innocent man who is sentenced immediately to the death penalty. While hall his lawyer's many reasonable attempts to free him are continually going on, he sees about 30 other inmates who also got "the electric chair" get executed and saw a couple prisoners exoner [...]

    16. 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. I found myself skimming through the second half, only to find the ending was anti-climactic: yes, Edward Lee Elmore was removed from Death Row after nearly thirty years, but he was still not exonerated and remained in jail. Since this book has b [...]

    17. I rate a book 5 stars when it gives me something to think about and something to Google. This should really get more than 5 stars because it changed lives. It is the story of the prejudice, corruption and incompetence rampant in the deep south 40 years ago. A poor, retarded, black handyman was sentenced to death after an elderly white woman was murdered. There was no real evidence and no motive. But the community was eager for a conviction and he had cleaned her gutters leaving fingerprints behi [...]

    18. Amazingly gut-wrenching true account of Edward Lee Elmore, an innocent man convicted of murder, and the lawyer who has spent much of her life working for his freedom. More heartbreaking than the fact that an innocent man has spent 3 decades of his life in jail--much of it on death row--is the fact that thousands of people, perhaps millions, have "assumed" his guilt based on what the inept and corrupt lawyers in one small town put forth as truth. Even the coroner based her results on what one man [...]

    19. This book reads like a layman's parody of small-town Southern justice -- the grizzled D.A. who runs everything; the good old boys network springing into action by planting evidence and then playing CYA; the public defenders who failed to ask questions even I without my law degree would have known to ask -- except the stakes are deadly serious and this kind of stuff could well be happening (and likely is) in towns all across America.When you read about opposition to the death penalty, remember, i [...]

    20. I had high hopes for this book: topic is right down my alley, and Bonner has a wonderful reputation. But the prose is really leaden, and the whole book seems to lack much in the way of narrative flair.

    21. Upon starting this book, I felt a memory tug. I couldn't quite put a handle on it, but then it came to me. it was this case that lost me a job i really didn't care about having, it was just the best of not so many good ones, and sent me to Europe and several life altering events. (See short-story at end of review.)The book, however, besides being an excellent rendition of a woman's passion and obsession, i guess, is a great example of why I am and always have been, and why should be if you're al [...]

    22. This book tells the story of a black man in South Carolina, who is accused of murdering an elderly woman. He had worked briefly as a handyman for her shortly before the murder. The black man was mentally handicapped but functional. The evidence against him was almost non existent and the scenario constructed by the prosecution was highly suspect. The defendant was represented by two public defenders who did nothing to protect or exonerate their client. Not until the appeal process did the defend [...]

    23. Fascinating and easy for a layperson to understand, this book traces the death penalty case of Edward Lee Elmore. The author provides a detailed look at not only this specific case, but at the inner workings of the legal system.

    24. I enjoyed this book. It’s very straight forward, journalist style reporting. I felt like I knew what would happen next and that there was nothing new about this story except the details of this case. It’s really frustrating to see the way our system works. It’s a solid book.

    25. Its terrifying and infuriating. The wheels of justice don't turn slowly they grind. The waste- of a life, of time, energy, of municipal resources, without any common sense any logic or any justice for the victim, the wrongly accused or the actual perpetrator Its hard to read.

    26. this non-fiction book reads like fiction and left me wishing that it were. the light it shines on our criminal justice system and the death penalty will make you squirm. i think this is a must read for anyone who wants to further educate themselves about the workings of the court.

    27. Difficult book to read. So much injustice in the "Justice" system. How in this country can innocent people be put to death? Especially upsetting is the justice system knows they are innocent

    28. A case of injustice that took 30 years to fix. Shame on the S Carolina SLED team for lying and covering up and the District Atty for swallowing it hook, line and sinker.

    29. I've just started this, in audiobook, and can tell you that the reader's "Southern" voice is wrong. Just plain wrong, and thus, distracting.Now that I've finished this, I will say that the "Southern" voice continued to irritate me throughout the reading. That was nothing compared to the anger I felt at the injustices, and there were many, heaped upon the man wrongfully convicted in the murder case that was the subject of this book. I know of the "good ole boy" network here in South Carolina, and [...]

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