BOOKS: "Die Free: A True Story of Murder, Betrayal and Miscarried Justice"

A new electronic book by former journalist Peter Rooney offers an in-depth look at the case of Joseph Burrows, who was exonerated from Illinois’s death row in 1996. In Die Free: A True Story of Murder, Betrayal and Miscarried Justice, Rooney explains how Burrows was sentenced to death for the murder of William Dulin based on snitch testimony. He was convicted primarily on the word of Gayle Potter, who recanted her testimony eight years later and admitted to committing the crime herself. According to one review, “Rooney makes it clear his book Die Free isn’t an argument against the death penalty, but simply another example of why such an extreme punishment should be re-evaluated. His points are made clearly and with merit as he details obvious evidence withholding by an over-aggressive district attorney, threats and intimidation of a borderline mentally challenged man, and the old school thoughts of little women versus big, burly men.” Rooney is a former staff writer for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and is currently the director of public affairs at Amherst College. Joe Burrows died at age 56 in 2009. This case, and similar exonerations, led to the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois in 2011. The book is available for electronic download on Amazon.com.

(K. Cantrell, “REVIEW: Die Free: A True Story of Murder, Betrayal and Miscarried Justice by Peter Rooney (eBook),” True Crime Book Reviews, July 11, 2011; DPIC posted July 25, 2012). See Innocence. Read more books on the death penalty. Listen to DPIC’s podcast on Innocence.