BOOKS: "A Murder Case Gone Wrong"

Raymond Bonner’s new book, Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong, is about to be published and was noted earlier by DPIC. An excerpt from the book appeared recently in The Atlantic. Andrew Cohen, also writing in The Atlantic, called it “the book of the century about the death penalty.” Cohen commented that “Bonner’s book comes at a crucial time in the modern history of the death penalty. It comes at a time when views are slowly hardening against the current unreliable and expensive system. It comes at a time when several states are looking to eliminate their capital regimes. It comes at a time when even the conservative Supreme Court has sent a signal that capital cases must be handled better. It’s a book that surely comes too late for some death row inmates but perhaps just in time for others.” In Anatomy for Injustice, Bonner recounts the case of Edward Lee Elmore, a man with intellectual disabilities, who has been tried, convicted and sentenced to death three times for a murder, and was recently granted a fourth trial when the reviewing court acknowledged “grave questions about whether it really was Elmore who murdered [the victim].” Read the excerpt from Anatomy for Injustice.

In the excerpt from his book, Bonner wrote, “In our criminal-justice system, once a person has been convicted, no matter how shaky the conviction, the presumption of innocence disappears. The defendant is assumed to have had a fair trial. New evidence, even enough to sow a field of doubt, does not necessarily entitle a defendant, not even one on death row, to a new trial.”

(A. Cohen, “The Book of the Century About the Death Penalty,” The Atlantic, February 9, 2012; R. Bonner, “Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong,” Alfred A. Knopf, February 2012)). See Innocence and Intellectual Disability. Read more Books on the death penalty.