* the Jeffrey MacDonald case and Lew’s novel “A Good Conviction”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 2, 2012

Jeffrey MacDonald in prison 1983 … he’s still there


  • A new book by Errol Morris re-opens the Jeffrey MacDonald case … A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald
  • DID Jeffrey MacDonald, an Army doctor and Green Beret stationed at Fort Bragg, stab and bludgeon his family to death early on the morning of Feb. 17, 1970?



I have long believed that MacDonald was wrongly convicted by prosecutors who may have had an agenda to protect the “military brats” who were the likely killers. Evidence was ignored and some was lost, perhaps purposely.

The MacDonald case was part of what stimulated me to write my novel, A Good Conviction, which tells the story of a young man convicted of a murder he did not commit by a prosecutor who had come to know he was innocent. … (read about  A Good Conviction on amazon.com)

In the real world, the issue of wrongful conviction, including hiding and fabrication of evidence, is a cancer on the American justice system.

For a complete and convincing review of the travesty of the MacDonald case, I recommend … Fatal Justice: Reinvestigating the MacDonald Murders  by Jerry Allen Potter and Fred Bost (Apr 17, 1997)


  • “A Wilderness of Error,” which will be released Tuesday by Penguin Press, is a reinvestigation of a case that many thought they knew, written by an obsessive who never leaves well enough alone. With his book Mr. Morris is reopening a lurid, deep wound that preoccupied much of the nation for years after the crime took place.

“A Wilderness of Error” may not exonerate MacDonald,

but it makes a forceful argument that

his conviction was riddled with shortcomings.

  • The case will be the subject of a new hearing on Sept. 17 in United States District Court in Wilmington, N.C., after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last spring that the lower court had failed to consider the entire body of evidence.

“I believe he is innocent.

I don’t see any evidence to suggest that he is guilty,” said Mr. Morris.

  • “One thing we do know is that evidence was lost, some of it went uncollected, and some of it was contaminated.

One of the reasons we can’t prove he is innocent

is that so much of the evidence is unavailable to us.”



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