THE INNOCENTS by Edward D. Radin
Kirkus Star


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Mr. Radin has complied the evidence and presents a devastating indictment against the ""undue"" process of the law. Noting that court decisions may be 95% accurate -- an ""impressive"" figure, Mr. Radin approximates this to mean that ""over 14,000 people who may be innocent are convicted of serious crimes every year."" He then confronts us with some 70-odd documented cases where The Innocents have been prosecuted. Many aspects of these cases show appalling incompetence on all levels- from the mistaken eye-witness up through officialdom to the indifferent Board of Appeals. But most unnerving are the facts corning the legal authorities. Police brutality, inept investigations, frame-ups, coached witnesses, over-zealous prosecutors- all the stuff of which T.V. is made -- without Perry Mason enter The Fugitive (one factor present in the majority of cases was the defendants' lack of money to back a private investigation and/or hire effective counsel). Beyond the human element there lies the inevitable legal machinery which in one case rolled over parents officially imprisoned and who were set free only to find that their two daughters were permanently removed from their custody. The reason? Their illegal imprisonment, while in another instance it sealed the lips of the one man who could testify to the innocence of a man on a life sentence. The witness?- a judge. The author is not an emotional prosecutor; he just states the facts clearly, lets the years speak for themselves, and concludes his case with some rational suggestions for reform. Fascinating, discomforting, and it should find a sure audience in the ""Land of the Free""?

Publisher: Morrow