Radley Balko & Tucker Carrington - THE CADAVER KING & THE COUNTRY DENTIST

at in store on 03/02/2018, 06:00 pm
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Radley Balko & Tucker Carrington - THE CADAVER KING & THE COUNTRY DENTIST Please join us for when Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington, authors of THE CADAVER KING AND THE COUNTRY DENTIST: A True Story of Injustice in the American South present this important and horrifying chronicle of Mississippi’s corrupt criminal justice system. Told through the story of two wrongfully accused death row inmates—finally freed—Balko and Carrington illustrate how the persistent and historic plague of institutional racism and junk forensic science has failed thousands of innocent men and women across the country. John Grisham, who wrote the foreword, said that if he were to return to nonfiction, this is the story he would want to tell. An engrossing legal drama, THE CADAVER KING AND THE COUNTRY DENTIST is all the more enraging because it is true. When two three-year-old girls were raped and murdered in rural Mississippi in 1990, law enforcement pursued and convicted two innocent men: Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks. Together they spent a combined thirty years in the state’s notorious Parchman Farm penitentiary before finally being exonerated in 2008. Meanwhile, the real killer remained free. How could something like this happen? At least two men who built successful careers on the back of this condemnable system were responsible: Dr. Steven Hayne and Dr. Michael West. For nearly two decades, Dr. Hayne, a state 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 and “bite mark specialist.” The duo became prosecutors’ go-to experts for a speedy conviction—and Brewer and Brooks were just two of their countless victims. Their wrongful convictions lie at the intersection of the most pressing problems facing this country’s criminal justice system: structural injustice built on the historic foundation of race and class, and the much more contemporary but equally egregious problem of invalid forensic science. The old problem is inextricably entangled with and exacerbates the new.

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