Verdict on Trial: The Inside Story of the Cop Case that Ignited Miami's Deadliest Riot Kindle Edition
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- Publication Date : April 27, 2020
- File Size : 5098 KB
- Print Length : 372 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- ASIN : B087SG6ZSC
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #948,820 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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As the trial progressed, Carhart and my optimism grew that our client (and likely all of the defendants) would be acquitted. We understood how the trial was being report in Miami and fully anticipated the reaction acquittals would bring in Miami (although certainly not to the extreme that actually occurred).
For years, I thought that the story of the McDuffie prosecution (how and why it was such a failure) needed to be told. As much as I wanted to write that story, it needed to be told by a great journalist. John Dorschner has stepped to the plate and written this story after years of research. Dorschner accurately takes us through the night of the motorcycle chase which led to McDuffie's apprehension and beating, the ensuing publicity and investigation, the charging of the police officers, the trial, and the aftermath. Dorschner also takes a critical look at the media coverage of this case and the media's role in community's reaction to the verdict.
Verdict on Trial is an essential read for those of us who live in Miami and want to understand our social history. However, the parallel with so many other cities which have struggled with deaths of minorities at the hands of law enforcement makes this book relevant and essential for people in urban communities throughout the United States.
With the luxury of time and hindsight the author reviewed the transcript of the trial, interviewed most of the participants and evaluated the many choices the prosecutors and defense attorneys had to make and the consequences of their decisions. He had the help of two very experienced trial lawyers who contributed comments on the decisions as he discussed them. As a retired litigator, I kept agreeing with most of their comments but I also understand there are always 3 arguments: the one you’re prepared to give, the one you actually give and the one you should have given. But the last is usually only apparent when you’re leaving the courthouse.
Just as importantly, he analyses how the press and the attorneys views of the trial differ. In this case, the press retelling of the McDufflie killing by police officers focused on the dramatic which led to dashed expectations by the Black community. Although TV was probably far more influential than the print accounts, neither had the time to explain the defenses efforts to undermine the prosecution’s case which was so influential in bringing a quick acquittal of all the police officers.
The quick acquittal was the spark that caused the riots in the Black community which was resentful of their treatment by many of the White police officers and the perception that their economic problems were getting worse because the influx of Cubans. And, as usual, when riots occur in the Black community, the burning and looting left them worse off. A lesson we all need to learn and avoid.
To me, the book did exactly what a good book is meant to do, inspire remembrance and emotion and keep one glued to the story to the end. Our city has certainly come a long way in the forty years hence, and for all our faults that remain, I’m glad we’ve lived to see the progress we’ve made thus far.