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Chasing Justice: My Story of Freeing Myself After Two Decades on Death Row for a Crime I Didn't Commit Paperback – Bargain Price, March 11, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite some amateurish prose, this depressing account of an unfair criminal justice system that almost claimed the author's life deserves a wide readership alongside John Grisham's The Innocent Man. After being arrested in 1977 for a brutal mutilation murder in Tyler, Tex., that he did not commit, Cook, then 21 years old, was repeatedly railroaded by corrupt police officers, prosecutors and judges bent on ignoring all the rules to get him convicted. After his first trial, Cook ended up on death row and underwent a hellish ordeal behind bars; two subsequent trials ended in a mistrial and another conviction and death sentence. The subtitle notwithstanding, Cook's eventual freedom was largely due to a team of dedicated attorneys, working from the Capital Punishment Project or pro bono, who fought tooth-and-nail to obtain his freedom in the late 1990s. Readers familiar with similar travesties, such as the Randall Dale Adams case chronicled in Errol Morris's documentary The Thin Blue Line, will be outraged anew, especially at the authorities' deliberate disregard of another suspect, linked to the crime by an eyewitness and DNA evidence. (Feb. 27)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Chasing Justice is an immensely compelling story that is hard to believe. If it were fiction, no one would believe it. But it’s not, and Kerry Cook’s account of his nightmare is fascinating.” (John Grisham )
“Chasing Justice is captivating...It is going to break through political barriers and be a catalyst for reform. (Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking )
“The incredible story of this enforced visit to hell and back is a modern day version of Dante and Kafka.” (Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School )
“I dare you to read this book. . . An inspiring human being.” (Richard Dreyfuss )
“A brutal but compelling account. . . . Amazing.” (William S. Sessions, former FBI Director and federal judge )
“Deserves a wide readership alongside John Grisham’s The Innocent Man. (Publishers Weekly )
“An inmate’s harrowing first-person account of a travesty of Texas jurisprudence.” (Kirkus Reviews )
“Kafka-esque...That he survived is astounding; the circumstances that finally freed him...are nearly miraculous.” (Texas Monthly )
“Cook’s story is so gripping that only a heart of steel won’t break after reading it.” (People )
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Top Customer Reviews
Kerry Max Cook tells us exactly how it is to be on death row in this country. He paints the picture of being wrongly convicted that chills one to the very core of their being.
If your pro death penalty... you won't be so sure of that belief after reading this.
One has to give this man KUDOS for enduring a 20+ year nightmare. As well as the attorney's that stuck by his side and believed in him and worked pro bono. It takes a hell of a belief system to get through what this man survived.
I recommend this book to everyone, pro or anti death penalty. It is very educational on our justice system, prosecutor misconduct, judges who are blind to "real justice" & Investigators who will stop at nothing to gain a conviction.
TRUST THE EVIDENCE, NEVER TRUST THE AUTHORITIES.
Second, I am glad I did not read this before I wrote "Accidental Felon." In my book I wanted to show readers who like legal suspense fiction but do not follow stories of exonerees, as I do, that this could happen to them or someone they love. Based on my reading, it seems the corrupt officials target young men. Kerry was 20 when he became their victim. Jeffrey Deskovic was 16. And on and on.
I urge everyone not only to read this but recommend it widely. The system will remain as crippled as it now is unless huge numbers of us demand change from state legislatures and Congress. We can be as powerful as the lobbyists who control Congress, if we care enough and enough of us care.