THE VINDICATORS by Eugene B. Block


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The theme of this highly readable investigation is that the law is not expressly for convicting criminals but for serving justice. Sixteen cases in which men were unjustly convicted and spent up to 22 years in prison are examined, as well as the elements of detection which led to eventual pardon. The leg-work of the lawyers and detectives is fascinating. In two cases Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame acts as the principal investigator when he becomes absolutely convinced that the wrong men have been sent up. Several of the cases cover the activities of the famous Court of Last Resort, a freewheeling group of humanitarian lawyers and detectives who take on the most hopeless cases and often win them. This group was started by Erle Stanley Cardner and some friends in Southern California and kept its activities posted in Argosy magazine for several years. (The Court later disbanded.) One famous case detailed very thoroughly served as the basis for Elia Kazan's movie Boomerang a few years ago and concerned the unmotivated killing of a Roman Catholic priest in Bridgeport, Conn. The state prosecutor worked for three months against his prisoner's conviction. The sense that the reader himself might be falsely imprisoned someday lends strong interest to these crimes...Arresting!

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday