Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom

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In this remarkable legal page-turner, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Barry Siegel recounts the dramatic, decades-long saga of Bill Macumber, imprisoned for thirty-eight years for a double homicide he denies committing. In the spring of 1962, a school bus full of students stumbled across a mysterious crime scene on an isolated stretch of Arizona desert: an abandoned car and two bodies. This brutal murder of a young couple bewildered the sheriff 's department of Maricopa County for years. Despite a few promising leads—including several chilling confessions from Ernest Valenzuela, a violent repeat offender—the case went cold. More than a decade later, a clerk in the sheriff 's department, Carol Macumber, came forward to tell police that her estranged husband had confessed to the murders. Though the evidence linking Bill Macumber to the incident was questionable, he was arrested and charged with the crime. During his trial, the judge refused to allow the confession of now-deceased Ernest Valenzuela to be admitted as evidence in part because of the attorney-client privilege. Bill Macumber was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
The case, rife with extraordinary irregularities, attracted the sustained involvement of the Arizona Justice Project, one of the first and most respected of the non-profit groups that represent victims of manifest injustice across the country. With more twists and turns than a Hollywood movie, Macumber's story illuminates startling, upsetting truths about our justice system, which kept a possibly innocent man locked up for almost forty years, and introduces readers to the generations of dedicated lawyers who never stopped working on his behalf, lawyers who ultimately achieved stunning results. With precise journalistic detail, intimate access and masterly storytelling, Barry Siegel will change your understanding of American jurisprudence, police procedure, and what constitutes justice in our country today.
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About the author

Barry Siegel is a Pulitzer Prize winning former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and he directs the literary journalism program at UC Irvine where he is a professor of English. He is the author of six books, including Shades of Gray and Claim of Privilege. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.
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4.1
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Additional Information

Publisher
Henry Holt and Company
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Published on
Jan 22, 2013
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781429947336
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Criminal Law / Sentencing
Law / Criminal Procedure
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Barry Siegel
A mother’s search for the son she gave up uncovers terrifying secrets in a Minnesota town in this “masterfully depicted true-crime tale” (Publishers Weekly).

In 1962, Jerry Sherwood gave up her newborn son, Dennis, for adoption. Twenty years later, she set out to find him—only to discover he had died before his fourth birthday. The immediate cause was peritonitis, but the coroner had never decided the mode of death, writing “deferred” rather than indicate accident, natural causes, or homicide. This he did even though the autopsy photos showed Dennis covered from head to toe in ugly bruises, his clenched fists and twisted facial expression suggesting he had died writhing in pain.
 
Harold and Lois Jurgens, a middle-class, churchgoing couple in picturesque White Bear Lake, Minnesota, had adopted Dennis and five other foster children. To all appearances, they were a normal midwestern family, but Jerry suspected that something sinister had happened in the Jurgens household. She demanded to know the truth about her son’s death.
 
Why did authorities dismiss evidence that marked Dennis as an endangered child? Could Lois Jurgens’s brother, a local police lieutenant, have interfered in the investigation? And most disturbing of all, why had so many people who’d witnessed Lois’s brutal treatment of her children stay silent for so long? Determined to find answers, local detectives and prosecutors rebuilt the case brick by brick, finally exposing the shocking truth behind a nightmare in suburbia.
 
A finalist for the Edgar Award, A Death in White Bear Lake is “a distinguished entry in the annals of crime documentary,” and a vivid portrait of the all-American town that harbored a sadistic killer (The Washington Post).
Barry Siegel
Doug Bard has been a detective with the sheriff’s department in La Graciosa, California, long enough to know the score. Now that an influx of upscale chain stores and luxury housing has turned sleepy Chumash County into a boom town, the last thing anyone wants is crime casting a shadow over the prosperity. But Bard also knows he’s not the kind of man who can write off a double fatality as a tragic accident—especially when all his instincts tell him it was murder.

When a devastating housefire claims the lives of a kindly local retiree and his eleven-year-old piano student, District Attorney Angela Stark wastes no time declaring the blaze a mishap. But the verdict just doesn’t sit right with Bard. Inconclusive but troubling clues—marks on the dead girl’s neck, a strange bootprint on a kicked-in door—are enough to make the veteran detective buck the party line and fight to keep the case open. It’s a stand that puts the renegade Bard at odds yet again with his superiors. Until a suspect surfaces.

Placed at the scene of the deadly fire by an eyewitness, Jed Jeremiah is a backwoods loner with a homicide conviction in his past. But even as the sensational murder trial gets under way, the same instincts that told Bard there was foul play afoot now convince him that the wrong man may face the death penalty—and a calculating killer is still at large.

Defying the sheriff and the D.A. and putting his job on the line, Bard begins to dig for the truth. What he discovers is a shocking link to his own past—one that will put the people he loves most in deadly jeopardy.

From crime scene to courtroom, Lines of Defense unravels a cunningly plotted tale of detection and justice. Michael Connelly has declared, “with Barry Siegel you don’t read a story. You feel it. You live it. And you always want more.” The third novel by the acclaimed author of Actual Innocence and The Perfect Witness brilliantly proves him right, on all counts.


From the Hardcover edition.
Ronald Goldfarb
Was Edward Snowden a patriot or a traitor?
Just how far do American privacy rights extend?
And how far is too far when it comes to government secrecy in the name of security?
These are just a few of the questions that have dominated American consciousness since Edward Snowden exposed the breath of the NSA's domestic surveillance program.
In these seven previously unpublished essays, a group of prominent legal and political experts delve in to life After Snowden, examining the ramifications of the infamous leak from multiple angles:
• Washington lawyer and literary agent RONALD GOLDFARB acts as the book's editor and provides an introduction outlining the many debates sparked by the Snowden leaks.
• Pulitzer Prize winning journalist BARRY SIEGEL analyses the role of the state secrets provision in the judicial system.
• Former Assistant Secretary of State HODDING CARTER explores whether the press is justified in unearthing and publishing classified information.
• Ethics expert and dean of the UC Berkley School of Journalism EDWARD WASSERMAN discusses the uneven relationship between journalists and whistleblowers.
• Georgetown Law Professor DAVID COLE addresses the motives and complicated legacy of Snowden and other leakers.
• Director of the National Security Archive THOMAS BLANTON looks at the impact of the Snowden leaks on the classification of government documents.
• Dean of the University of Florida Law School JON MILLS addresses the constitutional right to privacy and the difficulties of applying it in the digital age.
Barry Siegel
A mother’s search for the son she gave up uncovers terrifying secrets in a Minnesota town in this “masterfully depicted true-crime tale” (Publishers Weekly).

In 1962, Jerry Sherwood gave up her newborn son, Dennis, for adoption. Twenty years later, she set out to find him—only to discover he had died before his fourth birthday. The immediate cause was peritonitis, but the coroner had never decided the mode of death, writing “deferred” rather than indicate accident, natural causes, or homicide. This he did even though the autopsy photos showed Dennis covered from head to toe in ugly bruises, his clenched fists and twisted facial expression suggesting he had died writhing in pain.
 
Harold and Lois Jurgens, a middle-class, churchgoing couple in picturesque White Bear Lake, Minnesota, had adopted Dennis and five other foster children. To all appearances, they were a normal midwestern family, but Jerry suspected that something sinister had happened in the Jurgens household. She demanded to know the truth about her son’s death.
 
Why did authorities dismiss evidence that marked Dennis as an endangered child? Could Lois Jurgens’s brother, a local police lieutenant, have interfered in the investigation? And most disturbing of all, why had so many people who’d witnessed Lois’s brutal treatment of her children stay silent for so long? Determined to find answers, local detectives and prosecutors rebuilt the case brick by brick, finally exposing the shocking truth behind a nightmare in suburbia.
 
A finalist for the Edgar Award, A Death in White Bear Lake is “a distinguished entry in the annals of crime documentary,” and a vivid portrait of the all-American town that harbored a sadistic killer (The Washington Post).
Barry Siegel
Doug Bard has been a detective with the sheriff’s department in La Graciosa, California, long enough to know the score. Now that an influx of upscale chain stores and luxury housing has turned sleepy Chumash County into a boom town, the last thing anyone wants is crime casting a shadow over the prosperity. But Bard also knows he’s not the kind of man who can write off a double fatality as a tragic accident—especially when all his instincts tell him it was murder.

When a devastating housefire claims the lives of a kindly local retiree and his eleven-year-old piano student, District Attorney Angela Stark wastes no time declaring the blaze a mishap. But the verdict just doesn’t sit right with Bard. Inconclusive but troubling clues—marks on the dead girl’s neck, a strange bootprint on a kicked-in door—are enough to make the veteran detective buck the party line and fight to keep the case open. It’s a stand that puts the renegade Bard at odds yet again with his superiors. Until a suspect surfaces.

Placed at the scene of the deadly fire by an eyewitness, Jed Jeremiah is a backwoods loner with a homicide conviction in his past. But even as the sensational murder trial gets under way, the same instincts that told Bard there was foul play afoot now convince him that the wrong man may face the death penalty—and a calculating killer is still at large.

Defying the sheriff and the D.A. and putting his job on the line, Bard begins to dig for the truth. What he discovers is a shocking link to his own past—one that will put the people he loves most in deadly jeopardy.

From crime scene to courtroom, Lines of Defense unravels a cunningly plotted tale of detection and justice. Michael Connelly has declared, “with Barry Siegel you don’t read a story. You feel it. You live it. And you always want more.” The third novel by the acclaimed author of Actual Innocence and The Perfect Witness brilliantly proves him right, on all counts.


From the Hardcover edition.
Ronald Goldfarb
Was Edward Snowden a patriot or a traitor?
Just how far do American privacy rights extend?
And how far is too far when it comes to government secrecy in the name of security?
These are just a few of the questions that have dominated American consciousness since Edward Snowden exposed the breath of the NSA's domestic surveillance program.
In these seven previously unpublished essays, a group of prominent legal and political experts delve in to life After Snowden, examining the ramifications of the infamous leak from multiple angles:
• Washington lawyer and literary agent RONALD GOLDFARB acts as the book's editor and provides an introduction outlining the many debates sparked by the Snowden leaks.
• Pulitzer Prize winning journalist BARRY SIEGEL analyses the role of the state secrets provision in the judicial system.
• Former Assistant Secretary of State HODDING CARTER explores whether the press is justified in unearthing and publishing classified information.
• Ethics expert and dean of the UC Berkley School of Journalism EDWARD WASSERMAN discusses the uneven relationship between journalists and whistleblowers.
• Georgetown Law Professor DAVID COLE addresses the motives and complicated legacy of Snowden and other leakers.
• Director of the National Security Archive THOMAS BLANTON looks at the impact of the Snowden leaks on the classification of government documents.
• Dean of the University of Florida Law School JON MILLS addresses the constitutional right to privacy and the difficulties of applying it in the digital age.
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