Chasing Justice: My Story of Freeing Myself After 22 Years on Death Row for a Crime I Didn't Commit

Kerry Max Cook, Author . Morrow $25.95 (342p) ISBN 978-0-06-057464-2

Despite some amateurish prose, this depressing account of an unfair criminal justice system that almost claimed the author's life deserves a wide readership alongside John Grisham's The Innocent Man . After being arrested in 1977 for a brutal mutilation murder in Tyler, Tex., that he did not commit, Cook, then 21 years old, was repeatedly railroaded by corrupt police officers, prosecutors and judges bent on ignoring all the rules to get him convicted. After his first trial, Cook ended up on death row and underwent a hellish ordeal behind bars; two subsequent trials ended in a mistrial and another conviction and death sentence. The subtitle notwithstanding, Cook's eventual freedom was largely due to a team of dedicated attorneys, working from the Capital Punishment Project or pro bono, who fought tooth-and-nail to obtain his freedom in the late 1990s. Readers familiar with similar travesties, such as the Randall Dale Adams case chronicled in Errol Morris's documentary The Thin Blue Line, will be outraged anew, especially at the authorities' deliberate disregard of another suspect, linked to the crime by an eyewitness and DNA evidence. (Feb. 27)

Reviewed on: 11/13/2006
Release date: 03/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-905745-15-9
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-0-06-057465-9
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