Guilty or Innocent?
Photos and period drawings accopany Gustafson's examinatins of 10 historic crimes and the bases for lasting doubts about whether justice was served when the accused were tried. The author's brisk, knowledgeable prose is an asset; the facts are clear and unsensationalized in each case. Underscoring the point that public attitudes and changing times determine guilt or innocence, Gustafson cites cannibalism in the early 1600s, horrendously punished, and recently when survivors of an airplane crash were forgiven for eating the dead passengers. (It would be interesting to learn the author's views on the fate of the Rosenbergs, executed in the fearful 1950s, and spies less harshly treated recently.) Lizzie Borden, Bruno Hauptman, John Hinckley Jr., Sacco and Vanzetti are among others scrutinized in the book, which proves that expedience, instead of fairness, dictates a verdictand a convict's sentence. (1114)