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False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent Hardcover – January 4, 2011
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"...my husband and I are teachers...Your book is one of a handful I've read in life
that I view as a 'must read' for all conscientious citizens." -Bridget R. (unsolicited reader)
"I just finished reading this book and I have to say it was one ofthe best and most enlightening books I have ever read. ... Thanks topeople like you two we can shake off traditional beliefs that leave usin the mental doldrums and move forward to a more true and just society." R. C. - Posted on book's facebook page (unsolicited)
"Should be required reading for every voter! ...This could have been asdry as a textbook, but I found it engaging for both my heart and mybrain Most significantly, it makes me want to get involved in changingour judicial system as an 'ordinary citizen'; Petro makes me a believerthat every voice matters."- Meg K., Barnes & Noble, Easton (Columbus), in her selection of FALSE JUSTICE as a "staff recommended" book
"I finished your book and it was so good I don't want to start another one." - Ruben M. (unsolicited)
"I absolutely loved your book--not merely because it was so well writtenand researched--but because it profoundly changed my viewpoint." -John H. (unsolicited reader)
“[False Justice is] an important book, written in straight-forward, unadorned prose, that is deserving of a national audience.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
“False Justice is a compelling and important read for anyone concerned with the criminal justice system or perhaps public policy issues in general.” —Toledo Blade
“The law enforcement personage who recognizes the problem of false convictions is a rare and refreshing breed…[i]n my years of research, I have heard only a few prosecutors acknowledge the breadth and depth of the problem. In his new book False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent (January, Kaplan), Petro outdoes them all.” —Steve Weinberg, author of Taking on the Trust
“False Justice is a fascinating and disturbing explanation of how easily our criminal justice system can convict the innocent and the endless challenges involved in finding true justice.” —Anchora Magazine
“Jim Petro reveals in False Justice how the lessons of DNA analysis of crime scene evidence changed his views on criminal justice. Petro became motivated not only to represent the wrongfully convicted but also to change the system. This former prosecutor and state attorney general is an important voice for criminal justice reform.” —Barry Scheck, Co-founder and Co-director, the Innocence Project, The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University
“The former attorney general of Ohio may be an unusual advocate for overturning wrongful convictions, but he makes a well-reasoned and articulate argument for rethinking the American justice system, where innocent people can be convicted, then exonerated years later by post-conviction DNA testing.” —Publishers Weekly
“False Justice is an important book, coming as it does from a former attorney general of Ohio and a conservative Republican.” —Rob Warden, Executive Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern School of Law
“For community groups that discuss books together and in any criminology or criminal justice class, the Petros' book is a rare gem in critical writing about criminal justice. Spread the word.” —Hal Pepinsky, Professor Emeritus, Criminal Justice, Indiana University
“Compelling in its content and engagingly written, False Justice draws upon the lived experience of the first state attorney general to intervene on behalf of a wrongfully convicted prisoner. With a growing awareness of the nature and magnitude of the errors made by our criminal justice system, the Petros take the reader inside a number of actual cases, summarize extensive research on the causes and consequences of wrongful conviction, and expose eight common myths that inspire false confidence in our system of justice and undermine our efforts at reform.” —C. Ronald Huff, Ph.D., Past-President, American Society of Criminology and co-author, Convicted but Innocent
“When most law-enforcement officials are confronted with an inmate's claim of innocence, they do everything they can to dispute it. Not Jim Petro. When the former Ohio attorney general encountered such a case he spurred the innocent inmate's release, explored how wrongful convictions occur and pushed for reforms. False Justice is the compelling story of his pursuit of true justice. “ —Martin D. Yant, author of Presumed Guilty and Private Invesigator
“The compelling narrative of individual cases highlights the reasons that the system sometimes gets it wrong. Whether it be because of faulty identification, false informant testimony, or other shortcoming, this book presents in very readable format why innocent people get convicted. In addition the book highlights how small and often inexpensive policy reforms can go a long way to addressing the shortcomings.” —Robert M. Bloom, Professor at Boston College Law Schoo
About the Author
Jim Petro is a former Republican Attorney General of Ohio. Throughout his 35-year career as an attorney and 28-year career as an elected public office holder, he has been publicly committed to strong law-and-order platforms. 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. His tenure as Attorney General was marked by a nation-leading effort that added 210,000 DNA profiles from Ohio felons and misdemeanants to the national DNA Codis database. This effort resulted in the immediate solving of dozens of cold cases, hundreds over the ensuing months and years.
Nancy Petro has 35 years of full-time experience in marketing, publishing, and business management and has taken an active role in her husband's political career.
Top customer reviews
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.
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.
Albemarle County VA. Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Jim Petro served as Attorney General of Ohio on a law-and-order platform. His wife Nancy Petro has experience in marketing, publishing, business...Read more
Jim Petro was elected state Attorney General of Ohio on a law and order platform.Read more
Jim Petro was elected state Attorney General of Ohio on a law and order platform.Read more