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Criminal Justice: The True Story of Edith Thompson Paperback – June, 2001


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Paperback, June, 2001
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Pr (June 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140294627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140294620
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,183,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul S. Denton on October 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very grim story, but remains fascinating even after ninety-something years. It was a cause celebre at the time. It may be difficult for Americans in the 21st century to get past the cultural and period differences between our culture and that of 1920s England to really understand the environment within which this tragic story took place. Still, the "love triangle" aspect is pretty much unchanged from that day to this.

The author makes the case that Edith was innocent of murder in that she did not actually plan with her lover to carry out the attack that left her husband dead. In this he succeeds in making a pretty good case for "reasonable doubt". But Edith did everything seemingly possible to prejudice her case and appear to be as guilty as sin. She wrote to her lover and described attempts (seemingly fanciful) to poison her husband. She insisted on taking the stand and contradicted herself in a most damaging way. She wrote about wanting her husband dead. So the extent of her guilt is seems greater than it actually may have been, but she sure ends up looking like something other than an innocent bystander.

The author also makes the point, probably with good cause, that Edith's adultery, about which there is no doubt, may have seriously prejudiced the judge and jury against her, given the Victorian morals of the day. It is hard to say whether she would be convicted if tried today. She might be convicted of a lesser charge, but that apparently was not an option in those days. Today, of course, England has no death penalty, so at least the awful fate she met would be impossible.

If you want to get an idea of how awful, so on Youtube and search for "Pierrepoint". Watch any of the eight episodes. You'll get the picture.
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