The Death Penalty on Trial by Bill Kurtis
Crisis in American Justice

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Bill Kurtis, anchor of the wildly popular true-crime TV series Cold Case Files and American Justice, used to support the death penalty. But after observing the machinations of the justice system for thirty years, he came to a stunning realization that changed his life: Capital punishment is wrong. There can be no real justice in America until it is abolished.

In The Death Penalty on Trial, Kurtis takes readers on his most remarkable investigative journey yet. Together, we revisit murder scenes, study the evidence, and explore the tactical decisions made before and during trials that send innocent people to death row. We examine the eight main reasons why the wrong people are condemned to death, including overzealous and dishonest prosecutors, corrupt policemen, unreliable witnesses and expert witnesses, incompetent defense attorneys, bias judges, and jailhouse informants. We see why the new jewel of forensic science, DNA, is revealing more than innocence and guilt, opening a window into the criminal justice system that could touch off a revolution of reform. Ultimately we come to a remarkable conclusion: The possibility for error in our justice system is simply too great to allow the death penalty to stand as our ultimate punishment.


About Bill Kurtis

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Published March 25, 2009 by PublicAffairs. 226 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Biographies & Memoirs, Crime, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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So, too, did former Illinois governor George Ryan, who reviewed the books and discovered that half the capital cases in his state had been reversed and that the lawyers for nearly three dozen death-row inmates “had later been disbarred or at some point suspended from practicing law.” Incompetent ...

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Publishers Weekly

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After 30 years as a CBS reporter and producer, Kurtis, who now hosts American Justice on A&E, re-examines his lifelong support of the death penalty, arguing eloquently that the risk of executing the wrong person is too great to let capital punishment stand.

Sep 27 2004 | Read Full Review of The Death Penalty on Trial: C...

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