The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist

A True Story of Injustice in the American South

Book - 2018 | First edition
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Relates the stories of two innocent men who were wrongly accused and convicted of crimes due largely to the legally condoned failures perpetrated by invalid forensic science and institutional racism. --Publisher. "A shocking and deeply reported account of the persistent plague of institutional racism and junk forensic science in our criminal justice system, and its devastating effect on innocent lives. After two three-year-old girls were raped and murdered in rural Mississippi, law enforcement pursued and convicted two innocent men: Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks. Together they spent a combined thirty years in prison before finally being exonerated in 2008. Meanwhile, the real killer remained free. [This book] recounts the story of how the criminal justice system allowed this to happen, and of how two men, Dr. Steven Hayne and Dr. Michael West, built successful careers on the back of that structure. For nearly two decades, Hayne, a medical examiner, performed the vast majority of Mississippi's autopsies, while his friend Dr. West, a local dentist, pitched himself as a forensic jack-of-all-trades. Together they became the go-to experts for prosecutors and helped put countless Mississippians in prison. But then some of those convictions began to fall apart. Here, Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington tell the haunting story of how the courts and Mississippi's death investigation system--a relic of the Jim Crow era--failed to deliver justice for its citizens. The authors argue that bad forensics, structural racism, and institutional failures are at fault, raising sobering questions about our ability and willingness to address these crucial issues."--Jacket
Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, 2018
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781610396912
Branch Call Number: 614.1 Balko 2018
Characteristics: xxii, 391 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Carrington, Tucker (W. Tucker), - Author


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Nov 08, 2018

The book starts with the story of two men wrongly convicted of murder. To explain how this happened, the book provides a brief cultural and political history of Mississippi, as well as the history of the coroner system and expert testimony in court. This all sets the stage for the story of Steven Hayne and Michael West's rise to power as coroner and bite-mark expert. The book follows their careers, and in doing so touches on numerous other convictions that may be wrong. This book will make you never want to go to Mississippi.


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