Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Manifest Injustice !

Today, Pulitzer Prize winner Barry Siegel's new book, Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom, is on the shelves of the Nation's bookstores (see ad here).

The book is about the case of one William Macumber whose situation was highlighted in many of our posts (click here). We have asked (and gained) permission to quote the following passages from the book:
The next day, P.S. Ruckman, Jr., an associate professor of political science at Rock Valley College in Illinois, posted a report about the Macumber case - and Governor Brewer's refusal to discuss it - on his Pardon Power blog. Ruckman raised alarms and expressed hope that "the media will hammer this ... on a daily basis until the topic is addressed appropriately." A Justice Project law student volunteer  Andrew Hacker, spotted Ruckman's post and relayed a link to Katie in an e-mail carrying the subject line "It's spreading ..." (p. 282)
Indeed, the following day, the Editor of Pardon Power contacted every prominent member of the National media (print and broadcast) that he had worked with in recent years. He summarized the case and asked that they consider covering Macumber's plight. Adam Liptak of the New York Times graciously took and interest in the story wrote a great piece. Professor Ruckman spoke with Liptak about the case while he (Ruckman) was enjoying the Magic Kingdom (in Orlando) and his family was sitting through Stitch's Great Escape! Siegel writes:
At the state prison in Douglas, Bill Macumber tried to make sense of all the attention being paid to him. [He] hoped the exposure would help, and maybe even affect Governor Brewer. He particularly appreciated Professor Ruckman's blog posting and Adam Liptak's New York Times piece, since they'd kindled the media interest. "Perhaps I will remain in prison,  he wrote to Professor Ruckman, "yet should that prove to be the case there are now countless people out there that believe in me and in my innocence. I find considerable satisfaction in that." (p. 285)
Bill is now, finally out of prison. We are happy, both for him, and for family members living here in Illinois. Members of local media (in Rockford, IL.) also deserve credit for taking the time to cover this story, when they could have easily covered other news items less disturbing and more commonplace.

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