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ISBN:1607144670
Author: Jim Petro,Nancy Petro
ISBN13: 978-1607144670
Title: False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent
Format: lit doc docx lrf
ePUB size: 1623 kb
FB2 size: 1369 kb
DJVU size: 1933 kb
Language: English
Category: Politics and Government
Publisher: Kaplan Publishing; First Edition edition (January 4, 2011)
Pages: 304

False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent by Jim Petro,Nancy Petro



Jim & Nancy Petro's inspirational book takes a critical look at how common misperceptions make it harder for our criminal justice system to deliver reliable results. This is a "must read" not merely for criminal justice professionals but for all Americans. Chock full of scientific documentation but easy for civilians to read, and hard to put down. This book can serve as an agent of change when it comes to serving the innocent who have been wrongly convicted in our justice system. Jim and Nancy Petro reveal the need for social justice in the judicial arena.

Jim Petro is a former Republican Attorney General of Ohio. As Ohio Auditor of State, he and his team cleaned up a corrupt office and performed audits that led to the criminal conviction of an unprecedented 110 public officials in Ohio. Jim Petro tracked down the source of the stink, as he explains in this book co-authored with his wife, Nancy. Together they vowed to devote their efforts, their knowledge, their education to help other innocents who were wrongly convicted and to try to change the system as it now exists. Jim and Nancy Petro relate the stories of innocent men who spent years of their lives in prison for rapes or murders they did not commit and who were later exonerated through DNA evidence.

A new book written by Jim and Nancy Petro offers a comprehensive analysis of how miscarriages of justice result in wrongful convictions. Jim Petro, a former Republican Attorney General of Ohio, has observed the justice system from all sides and was appalled by the frequent mistakes in the criminal justice system. As attorney general, he advocated along with the Innocence Project to help free a man wrongfully convicted of murder and rape

But this article is also a memoir, in that I tell the story, from my own perspective as Director of the Ohio Innocence Project, of how I have watched Jim Petro go from prosecutor and elected Attorney General of Ohio to a leading champion of the wrongfully convicted across the nation.

Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent. Jim Petro was confronted with this issue when the guilt of several convicts serving life sentences was called into question. In False Justice, Jim and Nancy Petro detail and challenge eight myths of justice: Everyone in prison claims innocence. Our system almost never convicts an innocent person. Only the guilty confess. Wrongful convictions are caused by innocent human error. An eyewitness is the best testimony. Conviction errors get corrected on appeal. It dishonors the victim to question a conviction. If the justice system has problems, the pros will fix them.

Former Ohio Attorney General crusades against wrongful conviction and shows how citizens can prevent this terrifyingly common miscarriage of justice.“Wrongful criminal conviction is much more frequent than most Americans believe. The thought of imprisoned innocent people haunted me. I became determined to try to do something about it.”  - Jim Petro, Former Attorney General of OhioThe flaws in America’s execution of justice lead to an unacceptable number of wrongful criminal convictions. Jim Petro was confronted with this issue when the guilt of several convicts serving life sentences was called into question. In False Justice, Jim and Nancy Petro detail and challenge eight myths of justice:“Everyone in prison claims innocence.” “Our system almost never convicts an innocent person.” “Only the guilty confess.” “Wrongful convictions are caused by innocent human error.” “An eyewitness is the best testimony.” “Conviction errors get corrected on appeal.” “It dishonors the victim to question a conviction.” “If the justice system has problems, the pros will fix them.” False Justice corrects these common misunderstandings with an important truth: true justice requires constant vigilance and is the responsibility every citizen.
Reviews: 7
invincible
If you read my legal suspense, "Accidental Felon," you know it is based on fact--on prosecutorial misconduct. If you choose to believe it a product of creativity, this book proves otherwise. It is semi-autobiographical, the story of a former attorney general who discovered an innocent man falsely convicted and worked to help get him exonerated. That experience opened the window to the stink that is our so-called justice system. Jim Petro tracked down the source of the stink, as he explains in this book co-authored with his wife, Nancy. Together they vowed to devote their efforts, their knowledge, their education to help other innocents who were wrongly convicted and to try to change the system as it now exists.

This is a very different coming-of-age story, one that may be easier to digest than my novel (which aims to provoke a personal, emotional response from readers). When readers ask me about my book, "Why do prosecutors do this?" and, "What can we do about it?" I refer them to "False Justice" for the answers.
Cointrius
The latest in many books about wrongful convictions, and one of the better ones that I have read.

Jim Petro is a former state Attorney General for the State of Ohio, and a law-and-order Republican, so his transformation on this subject should not be dismissed or downplayed. In the true dictionary definition of conservatism, rather than the current political definition, Jim is a seeker of justice, not merely conviction rates.

Jim and Nancy do a wonderful job of outlining the absurdity of what can happen in our justice system. They provide real-life cases and guide the reader step-by-step with 'how' and 'why' the process went wrong. They make rational common-sense suggestions to fix the system.

I will admit that there were times that I felt he was a little too apologetic for law enforcement and prosecutors, but I have to remind myself that just as they sometimes get jaded and believe that everybody is guilty, I have to remember that most law enforcement officers and prosecutors are indeed basically honest and seeking the truth, and that I need to fight from becoming jaded myself. Unfortunately, there are enough "bad apples" that people need to be aware of this issue and we as a society need to seek reform to minimize errors.

However, having said that, I am more convinced than ever that "innocent until proven guilty" is a myth. It just isn't so. The entire system... investigators, district attorneys, judges, even juries... treat people as if they must be guilty of something, lest the defendant wouldn't even be there. We can do better than that.

Of special note, I felt that the 8 Myths presented at the end of the book were a perfect conclusion. Myth #6, "Conviction Errors Get Corrected On Appeal" was especially welcome as that aspect is rarely mentioned in other books on this subject. Appeals courts seem to be more rubber-stamp agencies, and are determined to protect the process rather than seek justice.

Hopefully, this issue is rising in the public's consciousness the last several years and we can actually get some positive change.
JoJoshura
Jim and Nancy Petro relate the stories of innocent men who spent years of their lives in prison for rapes or murders they did not commit and who were later exonerated through DNA evidence. They discuss the common practices in the justice system that allow such serious mistakes to happen and that prevent the correction of those mistakes. The book reads like a legal thriller. But it's not a novel. It's documented truth.
Mash
Great read on the horrors that await you should you be unlucky enough to be convicted for a crime you didn't commit. These myths show how easy it is, despite the good intentions of the justice system, for an innocent person to be convicted of a crime, and then how astronomically difficult it is for that person to attempt to prove his/her innocence. I learned a lot about DNA evidence and how eyewitness testimony can be easily contaminated. I will be carefully monitoring my local elections and encouraging the politicians who serve me to vote for simple things that can help improve the system - like video taping police interrogations.

The authors are detailed in their explanations, but the book is not difficult to understand, which is good because you are clearly able to see what the issues are.
Faezahn
Besides the wealth of information, major portions read like a legal thriller, only it's non-fiction. It should be a textbook, an exciting, interesting one, for everyone in the legal system. It's understandable how humans applying justice can error, but taking great care and understanding the eight myths and believing in DNA testing would go a long way toward fair justice. DNA testing should be a new right for everyone. The authors write cleanly with logic moving straight ahead. Some of the topics were complicated and well-constructed. A great read for anyone who wants to know the truth and more so for anyone wanting to ensure the truth wins out in court. Bravo.
Kirinaya
I had no concept of how many wrongful convictions have taken place in our justice system and how resistant the system is to take steps to exonerate innocent people in prison. The book carries even more weight when you realize that it is written by a Republican who is a former Attorney General. Jim and Nancy Petro, you have my deepest respect and admiration for your advocacy to correct this disturbing problem.