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Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom Hardcover – January 22, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (January 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805094156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805094152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Siegel has spent years following what he (and many others) believe to be the manifest injustice of a man imprisoned for 38 years for a double murder he has strenuously denied doing. The cold case dates back to May 24, 1962, when a young, engaged couple were discovered lined up next to their car in a Scottsdale, Arizona, lovers’ lane, each with a gunshot wound to the head. The news was shocking enough to push aside coverage of Scott Carpenter’s flight into space, and the case continued to grip the area through two trials and far into the imprisonment of Bill Macumber for the crime. Siegel creates a gripping narrative nonfiction treatment of what led to Macumber, a man with no connection to the murders, being convicted a decade after the killings, long after a confession by a repeat offender. The entries Siegel includes from Macumber’s prison diaries are heart-breaking in the day-to-day revelations of how he has kept his spirit and determination alive. Siegel also chronicles the work of the Arizona Justice Project, a forerunner of the Innocence Project in the U.S. On November 7, 2012, Macumber, now 77, was suddenly released from prison, which adds to the force of Siegel’s arguments and the outrage his advocacy journalism inspires about wrongful convictions and the fissures in the justice system. --Connie Fletcher

Review

"Deeply reported . . . Manifest Injustice has scenes that surpass any TV crime drama." —The Los Angeles Times

"Fascinating. . . Siegel [is] a talented author." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Mr. Siegel brilliantly creates for the reader the essence of a jury trial: two sides, two narratives, two bodies of evidence and two theories of interpretation. Manifest Injustice stays with the reader long after the last page for it is not just a story of one man, but a fascinating indictment of our judicial system as a whole." —New York Journal of Books

"For fans of John Grisham, Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly and for true crime fans. Bill Macumber was imprisoned for nearly 40 years for a crime he denied committing. In a fast-paced, suspenseful style which enhances the intriguing facts of this true story, journalist Barry Siegel recounts Macumber’s long and twisted road to justice." —The Sun Star Courier

"Manifest Injustice is a piece of masterful storytelling. Readers won’t soon forget this harrowing tale of crime and punishment in America today, or the man imprisoned for 38 years for a crime he vehemently denies committing." —Gay Talese

"Reminiscent of Errol Morris’s compelling investigation into the dubious proceedings of the Jeffrey MacDonald case in A Wilderness of Error, Siegel’s detailed rendering of the decades of efforts on Macumber’s behalf makes the horror of his situation resonate." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Siegel creates a gripping narrative nonfiction treatment of what led to Macumber, a man with no connection to the murders, being convicted a decade after the killings, long after a confession by a repeat offender . . . On November 7, 2012, Macumber, now 77, was suddenly released from prison, which adds to the force of Siegel’s arguments and the outrage his advocacy journalism inspires about wrongful convictions and the fissures in the justice system." —Booklist (starred review)

"This book is a must-read for students of crime and criminology. It should also appeal to general readers who follow sensational murder cases."—Library Journal (starred review)

"A fascinating, convoluted murder mystery demonstrating that the law should never be confused with common sense." —Kirkus Reviews


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This is a riveting account of a true injustice done to, Mr. Bill Macumber.
Nancy
I have to admit that when I started reading this book, I had author Barry Siegel confused with the similarly named Bary Scheck of The Innocence Project.
Just My Op
Despite knowing how it ended, I was on the edge of my seat as the story unfolded.
BC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Just My Op VINE VOICE on February 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If you think justice is just, you should read this book along with An Innocent Man by John Grisham and Angel of Death Row by Andrea Lyon. All three are quite eye-opening.

William Macumber was arrested for the murder of two teenagers in Phoenix area more than a decade after the murders. He has spent almost four decades in prison declaring his innocence and fighting his conviction.

He had huge numbers of people fighting for him, yet he remained imprisoned. Even 40 years after the crime was committed, the fight was still active and there were updates. So much so that when I received an advance reader's copy of this book, I also received an additional chapter, pages stapled together, detailing the recent updates.

I have to admit that when I started reading this book, I had author Barry Siegel confused with the similarly named Bary Scheck of The Innocence Project. That organization tries to exonerate with DNA evidence those wrongfully convicted.

Much of this book, as well as being about Mr. Macumber, is about the Arizona Justice Project and the people associated with it. They fight the tough cases where DNA evidence is not available. What Mr. Macumber accomplished while in prison is remarkable.

The evidence presented against him, the multiple and accurate confessions by another convicted murderer that were not allowed as evidence, the mishandling and loss of evidence, the lies and hatred, the political grandstanding, were also remarkable. Leads that were not followed, experts who were biased, a comedy of errors but not so funny for the people whose lives were devastated.

I am embarrassed to be living in a state where public officials can get away with what some of my esteemed officials did and condoned.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BC on February 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reads like a courtroom thriller, yet takes no liberties with the facts. Despite knowing how it ended, I was on the edge of my seat as the story unfolded. You can see why Barry Siegal is a Pulitzer prize winning author.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nature's Way on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Barry Siegel has written a riveting book about a man who was incarcerated for a crime of double murder in which the investigation and evidence thereafter was botched and left unguarded and open from the start. To hang a life sentence on a man where there was such malfeasance is indeed the worst kind of manifest injustice!And to withold major evidence of a dead client's admission in the name of attorney-client privilege is breathtaking in its injustice, although Siegel has made its legal terms clear. This reader wonders about a few things left uninvestigated--if the convicted Macumber actually served in the CID in the Army and afterward; what kind of car Macumber drove; why he and his brother had their revolvers checked after the 1962 murders and the results; a more conclusive picture of the shooting into Macumbers' kitchen; and other smaller facts. Were there enough character witnesses to testify to Macumber ever stretching the truth, etc. In the final analysis, however, there is much more than just reasonable doubt about Macumbers' guilt and the reader is left with the truth about just how much the legal system operates in its subjectiveness. This is a compellng book that should be widely read and circulated, not just in law circles, but for all those interested in seeing justice served. May Mr. Macumber have enough years left to enjoy his life and be richly rewared for all of his good works.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By IsolaBlue on February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
MANIFEST INJUSTICE should be on everyone's reading list for the year. A fast moving book that reads as swiftly as a great mystery novel, Barry Siegel's latest work takes readers into the real world of justice vs injustice. Never dry, never boring, and always educational and compelling, Siegel's work tells the true story of the murder of two young people in Arizona in the 1960s and the subsequent arrest of a community resident many years later in the 1970s based on testimony provided by his estranged wife.

Barry Siegel, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist is also the author of A DEATH IN WHITE BEAR LAKE (another excellent book). He is a painstaking researcher, a smooth writer, and his journalistic training shows throughout MANIFEST INJUSTICE. Although Siegel felt strongly enough about the arrest and incarceration of Bill Macumber to write a book about it, he didn't forget his journalistic roots, and throughout the book there are facts mentioned that make the reader wonder not only whether Macumber was falsely accused, tried, and convicted or whether he could possibly have committed the murders.

MANIFEST INJUSTICE should be required reading for all law students, anyone considering law school, and any citizen who feels that because he or she lives in America, that they are protected by an infallible justice system that always works the way it should. Siegel's book shows us the many ways that police investigations can go wrong, when the courts fail not only the accused but themselves, and the sometimes impossible task of proving innocence. MANIFEST INJUSTICE makes the reader think and - in some cases - may inspire the reader to political action.
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