Compelling and engagingly written, this book by former Attorney General of Ohio Jim Petro and his wife, writer Nancy Petro, takes the reader inside actual cases, summarizes extensive research on the causes and consequences of wrongful conviction, and exposes eight common myths that inspire false confidence in the justice system and undermine reform. Now newly published in paperback with an extensive list of web links to wrongful conviction sources internationally, False Justice is ideal for use in a wide array of criminal justice and criminology courses.
Myth 1: Everyone in prison claims innocence.
Myth 2: Our system almost never convicts an innocent person.
Myth 3: Only the guilty confess.
Myth 4: Wrongful conviction is the result of innocent human error.
Myth 5: An eyewitness is the best testimony.
Myth 6: Conviction errors get corrected on appeal.
Myth 7: It dishonors the victim to question a conviction.
Myth 8: If the justice system has problems, the pros will fix them.
Jim Petro is a former elected Attorney General of Ohio. Committed to a strong law-and-order platform, he launched a breakthrough effort that added 210,000 criminal DNA profiles to the CODIS database, solving countless cold cases but also revealing wrongful convictions. He retired from public service in 2013 as Chancellor of Ohio's public colleges and universities to focus on criminal justice reform and advocacy. Nancy Petro pursued a career in marketing, publishing, and business management before focusing in 2008 on writing and advocating for criminal justice reform.
PART I: FAILED JUSTICE 1. The Devil Cheats Justice 2. A Haunting Doubt 3. Relentless Pursuit 4. Political Genes 5. Advocating for a Victim 6. Rising to Opportunity 7. The Calling Card 8. Proving Innocence 9. Life After Exoneration 10. Proving Guilty 11. How Many? 12. A Compelling Witness 13. Flaws and Faulty Forensics 14. Closing Arguments 15. Surviving Injustice 16. Truth and Redemption 17. Dissecting Error PART II: PURSUING TRUTH 18. Prison and Executions 19. Capital Punishment Disclosures 20. Classic Misconceptions 21. Lies and Other Disgraces 22. Expert Mumbo Jumbo 23. When the Good Guys Aren't 24. Why We Can't Believe Our Eyes 25. Observations on Eyewitnesses PART III: DOING JUSTICE 26. When the DNA is Gone 27. Advocacy after Politics 28. Discerning Guilt and Innocence 29. Seeking Assurance 30. Arguing from the Other Side 31. A Higher Authority 32. Waiting Eighteen Years for Fifteen Minutes 33. Tough Decisions 34. A Partial Victory 35. Brady's Catch-22 36. Pesky Issues 37. Addressing Unacceptable Error 38. A Defining Moment for DNA 39. The Supreme Court's Divided Opinion PART IV: DISPELLING EIGHT MYTHS 40. Myth No. 1 41. Myth No. 2 42. Myth No. 3 43. Myth No. 4 44. Myth No. 5 45. Myth No. 6 46. Myth No. 7 47. Myth No. 8