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Posts Tagged ‘prosecutorial abuse’

* prosecutors hide evidence to get conviction … again!!! … real life imitates Lew’s novel “A Good Conviction”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 15, 2012

** purchase A GOOD CONVICTION by Lew Weinstein at amazon.com

from the NYT – 3/15/12 … 

  • “The investigation and prosecution of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (by Federal prosecutors) were permeated by the systematic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence which would have independently corroborated Senator Stevens’s defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness,” wrote Henry F. Schuelke, the investigator assigned to the case.
  • The report “confirms that the prosecution of Senator Ted Stevens was riddled with government corruption involving multiple federal prosecutors and at least one F.B.I. agent,” said Mr. Sullivan in a written statement.
  • they worked together to win at all costs in an attempt to convict a sitting United States senator in an ill-conceived prosecution.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/politics/report-details-inner-workings-of-troubled-ethics-trial-of-senator-ted-stevens.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1331841685-L/xLH6iKvbRPc2Ykt+C31g

******

LMW COMMENT …

This sort of cheating by prosecutors and police happens far more often than most Americans suspect. It is a cancer on the U.S. judicial system. And it will never be corrected until those prosecutors and cops are themselves prosecuted and held accountable for their actions, which almost never happens except in a few high-profile cases like this one and the Duke case.

If this issue concerns you, you might like my novel A Good Conviction which tells the story of a young man found guilty of a murder he didn’t commit by a prosecutor who knew he didn’t do it and hid the evidence from the defense.

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* praise for A Good Conviction

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 27, 2012

READERS’ COMMENTS …
Wow! That’s some story. It’s scary to think how many like Josh are trapped in our legal system. My heart is breaking for this kid.

  • I couldn’t put A Good Conviction down until it was finished – and that was in the wee hours of the morning! Weinstein allows the reader to feel the same anger, scare and frustration that Josh experiences, as we watch him become a victim of a corrupt DA. At the same time that we root for Josh to get justice, we are brought into the world of incarcerated criminals who fill their days with ways to survive. It’s a wild ride, and a story that I highly recommend.
  • What a ride! A scary, yet thoroughly believable, journey through the police and court systems of New York City. Lewis Weinstein captures the tensions and fears of prison life so well, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t done hard time himself. It certainly makes you wonder how many innocent people are behind bars.
  • A Good Conviction is a well written, well paced, and fascinating tale of prosecutorial abuse in the Manhattan DA’s office. Makes one wonder how many other times something like this has occurred and just how high the abuse is actually sanctioned … Judge (ret.) Leslie Crocker Snyder, former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, first sex crimes prosecutor in the U.S.:
  • This gripping story demonstrates how one’s life can take a 180 degree turn in a moment. Innocent actions can be misinterpreted and unfortunate consequences result. Weinstein is a great story teller and A Good Conviction is a very well crafted story.
  • A Good Conviction is an unusually gripping story of an erroneous conviction and the passionate fight to correct that injustice. Weinstein’s account of what a bad prosecutor does to Joshua Blake provides a frightening and realistic parallel to many of the true life cases we documented in our study … Michael Radelet, one of the authors of In Spite of Innocence, a study of over 400 cases of persons wrongly convicted of crimes carrying the death penalty
  • I am an avid reader of fiction, especially thrillers, and I can tell you that Weinstein holds his own among his peers including Baldacci, Grisham & Patterson. Do yourself a favor and add “A Good Conviction” and “The Heretic” to your reading list and discover this truly talented writer.
  • Having spent countless hours working with detectives, courts, attorneys, and wrongly convicted inmates I was most impressed with how well researched and accurate your narrative was. You really nailed it. In addition, it was a great read. … Dan Slepian, NBC Frontline producer of many crime and legal news shows
  • I am amazed at the research that Weinstein has done for both of his books. A Good Conviction, like The Heretic, is a real page turner with a lot of suspense. However, the book is more than just suspenseful. Weinstein illuminates an issue that is very serious and through a fictional account he sensitizes the reader to the plight of the many people who are incarcerated for crimes that they did not commit. I recommend the book highly and cannot wait for his next book.
  • A Good Conviction is one of the few books that I could not put down and always looked forward to the next chapter! So many books have the tendency to be drawn out in the middle, but this one kept you on the edge throughout and you really did get to know every character. I love a book that when I read it I feel like I am living it and that can only be done by a talented writer. Thank You for the experience!
  • A Good Conviction would be a great book for a reading group/book club. The characters were real and the circumstances of the main character’s life – from a great future to no future were heart wrenching.
  • The characters and their emotions were so vividly portrayed that I still think about them as if I knew them. Lovers of New York City will walk the streets of the city and visualize “A Good Conviction” happening. You will walk past a certain news-stand and wonder if the owner remembers Josh.
  • When you read a book that you don’t want to end….that is a good book. “A Good Conviction” is a good book.
  • Fraught with emotion and spot-on depiction of everyone from the lawyers to the hardened criminals, the reader experiences all the perils of life behind bars. With the surety of a jury handing down a life sentence, Weinstein confidently guides the reader through the complicated maze of our legal system and the politics within to a conclusion that is both uplifting and staggering in its depth.
  • A Good Conviction strikes home like no other book I have read. It could happen to any of us or those we care about. Takes the phrase “no good deed shall go unpunished” to a whole new level.
  • Having spent two years of a twenty year career with the NYPD transporting prisoners to and from Manhattan Central Booking, I read much of Mr. Weinstein’s book holding my breath. During those long 24 months I never got used to the sound of the cell doors sliding closed with a loud CLANG! Even knowing full well I would be leaving, it induced instant claustrophobia. Well, the scenes in A Good Conviction that take part on Riker’s Island brought that sound and more back to me with amazing clarity. If you want a glimpse into the hell that is American prison life, read this book.
  • A Good Conviction is a page turner and I loved every minute of it. The main character is entirely believable and his circumstances are chilling: something that could happen to any one of us. The research behind this book and the author’s familiarity with legal procedures (which are not hard to follow in the book) are evident.
  • I am really into this story! I feel so bad for Josh. I love to read books that I feel close to the characters and that’s how I feel with this one!
  • I love crime novels and this one doesn’t disappoint. The stark contrast in the opening chapters between Joshua Blake’s, until then, seemingly charmed life and the brutal reality of Sing Sing prison is chilling. You can’t help but think ‘What if that were me?’
  • The story is gripping. It keeps you turning the pages with twists and turns to the plot.
  • The characters engage you. Watch them develop – not just Josh as he is forced to face unimaginable challenges just to survive in jail, but those who take up the challenge of trying to prove his innocence. What motivates them? Why does NYPD Lieutenant Kerrigan put himself on the line? What drives Darleen to stand by Josh? And look out for Josh’s defense lawyer – he may not inspire confidence to begin with but develops as a quiet force.
  • I like the style, the way the story moves from Joshua being at Sing Sing to his free days and then to his time at Rikers Island. Makes for interesting reading that way.
  • I absolutely love this book. I read a lot of mysteries by Michael Connelly and James Patterson and Len Deighton. A Good Conviction is right up there. This should definitely be on the NY Times best reads.
  • I abhor ADA Claiborne. You made him into a villain but did it in a way that did not make him a caricature. I cannot think of a character in your book who was not drawn well. The best thing I can say about any book is that I am sorry to see it end. I was sorry to reach the end of your book.
  • Having anxiously awaited this novel after reading The Heretic with our book club in South Jersey, I have been gripped by the A Good Conviction’s reality and intensity. We’d like to think such injustices don’t happen, but recent advances in forensics have proven that many innocents are incarcerated. What’s scary about Josh Blake’s situation is that it strikes you as being entirely plausible.
  • Loved the attention to detail about the story’s New York locations – provided a reality foundation which made the story more startling.
  • Every page of A Good Conviction forces me to confront the very real issue in our society of someone who lives the horror of a wrongful conviction and life in the realities of prison.… Your attention to detail is great — I feel I am in New York with Josh!
  • I liked the court room scene and thought it moved quickly in a compelling manner
  • A Good Conviction just grabs your attention and compels you to read on and on.


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* A Good Conviction … reader comments

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 6, 2009

Readers have posted comments about “A Good Conviction” on amazon.com.

* Reader Comments (on amazon.com) for “A Good Conviction”

in addition, the following comments were received from readers of a pre-publication serialized version of “A Good Conviction”

… I am really into this story! I feel so bad for Josh. I love to read books that I feel close to the characters and that’s how I feel with this one!

… I love crime novels and this one doesn’t disappoint. The stark contrast in the opening chapters between Joshua Blake’s, until then, seemingly charmed life and the brutal reality of Sing Sing prison is chilling. You can’t help but think ‘What if that were me?’

… The story is gripping. It keeps you turning the pages with twists and turns to the plot.

… The characters engage you. Watch them develop – not just Josh as he is forced to face unimaginable challenges just to survive in jail, but those who take up the challenge of trying to prove his innocence. What motivates them? Why does NYPD Lieutenant Kerrigan put himself on the line? What drives Darleen to stand by Josh? And look out for Josh’s defence lawyer – he may not inspire confidence to begin with but develops as a quiet force.

… You’ve got me hooked me now! I started reading the 2nd segment last night, and couldn’t put it down until I was done. Are you going to let that poor guy out of jail, or what? (please, don’t answer that) Please send me the next segment !

… More, more, send me more, please. What a teaser this first segment was.

… Well, you’ve got me hook, line and sinker after Segment 1. So…..would you please send me Segment 2 so I can continue this adventure. Thanks for the opportunity!

… I like the style, the way you change back and forth from Joshua being at Sing Sing to his free days and then to his time at Rikers Island. Makes for interesting reading that way.

… I absolutely love this book. I read a lot of mysteries by Michael Connelly (all he has written so far) and James Patterson and Len Deighton and just finished last week a book by Nicholas Evans called The Divide. This book of yours is right up there. I am intrigued by it and once I begin reading, I remain until I have read the final word of the segments you have sent. This should definitely be on the NY Times best reads. I anxiously await more. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.

… I finished the book a few days ago. I very much enjoyed A Good Conviction. You made Josh and Darlene very sympathetic yet real characters. I liked them. You also did a good job of manipulating the tension level in the book so that I was extremely worried that Darlene would get hurt and was quite pleased when she was rescued by Detective Watson. That alone should indicate how well you reached this reader. I abhor ADA Claiborne. You made him into a villain but did it in a way that did not make him a caricature. I cannot think of a character in your book who was not drawn well. The best thing I can say about any book is that I am sorry to see it end. I was sorry to reach the end of your book.

… I am ready for Segment 3! I read Segment 2 the same day I got it.

… Having anxiously awaited this novel after reading The Heretic with our book club in South Jersey, I have been gripped by the story’s reality and intensity. We’d like to think such injustices don’t happen, but recent advances in forensics have proven that many innocents are incarcerated. The old saw about everybody in jail professing innocence is not so humorous today. What’s scary about Josh Blake’s situation is that as it unfolds it strikes you as being entirely plausible. Loved the attention to detail about the story’s New York locations – provided a reality foundation which made the story more startling. I am thoroughly enjoying this serialized email format – keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat – or should I say, at the edge of his/her keyboard.

… Every page forces me to confront the very real issue in our society of someone who lives the horror of a wrongful conviction and life in the realities of prison.

… Your attention to detail is great — I feel I am in New York with Josh! Next segment please !

… I liked the court room scene and thought it moved quickly in a compelling manner.

… I am ready for the next segment of A Good Conviction. I read it all in one swoop – I could not stop. I found it thoroughly readable with all the “parts” in the right places. Thank you so much; I look forward to my next read.

… I am really enjoying this book. Please send the next part ASAP.

… I just finished Segment 2 and I’m really looking forward to receiving the next segment. Nothing like being kept in suspense. Poor Joshua Blake, he can’t get a break I just know there has to be a point where this poor guy’s luck, or lack of it, has to change! Please send along the next segment as soon as you can. Thank you very much!

… Just want you to know that my eyes were riveted to each sentence in your book. I can’t get to each segment fast enough; my other emails can wait, the book I was reading can wait, I just want to read your story. It just grabs your attention and compels you to read on and on. Thank you so much – I look forward to reading more.

… Wow! That’s some story. I am ready for segment 3.

… Can you send me #3. It’s really good and so scary that this could actually happen!

… I’m back again in search of Segment 5 this time. I really am enjoying the story and all the suspense that it holds.

… It’s scary to think how many like Josh are trapped in our legal system. I’m ready for Segment 5.

… Quick, send me Segment 2, I’m on the edge of my seat.

… Finished segment 2. I am loving it. The poor kid. I feel like I am watching Law & Order where you recognize so many of the places. Can you forward the next installment??

… Time for segment 6. You do tell a good story.

… The tension is increasing. Send me Segment 8.

… My heart is breaking for this kid, but I’m ready for more.

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** A Good Conviction … blurbs

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 20, 2009

BACK COVER BLURBS …

Judge (ret.) Leslie Crocker Snyder, former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, first sex crimes prosecutor in the U.S.: A Good Conviction is a well written, well paced, and fascinating tale of prosecutorial abuse in the Manhattan DA’s office. Makes one wonder how many other times something like this has occurred and just how high the abuse is actually sanctioned

Michael Radelet, one of the authors of In Spite of Innocence, a study of over 400 cases of persons wrongly convicted of crimes carrying the death penalty.: A Good Conviction is an unusually gripping story of an erroneous conviction and the passionate fight to correct that injustice. Weinstein’s account of what a bad prosecutor does to Joshua Blake provides a frightening and realistic parallel to many of the true life cases we documented in our study

Dan Slepian, network producer of many crime and legal news shows: Having spent countless hours working with detectives, courts, attorneys, and wrongly convicted inmates I was most impressed with how well researched and accurate your narrative was. You really nailed it. In addition, it was a great read.

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** A Good Conviction – prologue

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 20, 2009

Sing Sing Correctional Facility … Wednesday, January 21, 2004 

Disjointed memories haunt me, as they do every night, shattering my once great expectations and leaving me to share a cold clammy cell listening to a guy named Spider jerk off. 

The darkness emits a rumbling undercurrent of sounds, pierced randomly by eerie howls. Inmates yell obscenities to one another, or worse, to no one. Doors clang, footsteps echo and fade away, angry music blares in short bursts. Odors of urine, decaying food, stale smoke, and sweaty unwashed bodies assault the air. Mice and roaches scurry.

The longer I’m here, the harder it is to imagine being anywhere else. Giving in and allowing myself to cry would be suicidal. Others would observe my fear, and act on it. Predatory others. “Hey, white boy, they gonna’ love you’ ass in here.”

How long before I lose my mind? And will that be better or worse? Is it already happening? Every day, the person who was Joshua Blake recedes further from reality. Is this process irreversible? Will there be a point when I can never again be who I was?

There’s a sudden movement close to me and I cringe. I’m going to be hurt. Relief. It’s just my cellmate, stirring in the bunk below me. The fact that his presence is actually comforting shows how much my life has changed. Spider rolls out of his bunk and slides into view.

In the dim light, I make out hairy legs, dark crotch, gray prison shirt. He settles his muscled bulk onto the toilet. More sounds and smells. When he’s done, I roll off the upper bunk, take his place, feel his sweat. I remember what it used to be like in a bathroom with a door and a seat on the toilet.

I climb up, careful not to step on Spider’s arm, crawl under my thin blanket, shiver in the chill. Spider’s bulk shifts in the bunk below me. He settles into a slow steady rhythm which pulses my bunk as well as his. Spider is once again masturbating.

I strain for diversion. A familiar burr grinds at the edges of my mind. I force myself to focus, visualizing each distinct moment of my arrest and trial. I see a look in a man’s eye. I grab for it, but once again it slips away, and  I’m sinking, gasping, a deep eternal coldness filling my body.

Spider finishes with a grunt and a sudden lurch just as I slide into my personal bottomless lake of despair. Deep in the murky water, the man’s face reappears, staring at me intently, a puzzled expression in his eyes.

And – finally – I know the face.

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