For the Color of His Skin: The Murder of Yusuf Hawkins and the Trial of Bensonhurst

John DeSantis, Author, Alan M. Dershowitz, Introduction by Pharos Books $18.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-88687-621-0
In August 1989, Yusuf Hawkins, a quiet black teenager, was murdered by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, a mostly Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. Only three of the eight convicted youths are serving time for their crimes; all were acquitted of murder. In an evenhanded, meticulous reconstruction of the case, DeSantis suggests that the hubris of incoming DA Charles Hynes and his staff in failing to communicate with outgoing DA Elizabeth Holtzman may have fatally flawed the prosecution. He charges that Holtzman's political ambitions and ``reckless acquiescence to public sentiment'' led her to target the largest number of individual suspects possible instead of focusing on the gunman and those who most immediately shared responsibility. Activist Al Sharpton, who held the entire group equally guilty of murder, is portrayed as ``inherently manipulative.'' No one comes off well in this account, which leaves the lingering impression that justice has not been served. DeSantis covered the case for UPI and the Washington Post. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-1-4935-3485-2
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