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On December 24, 1968, ten-year-old Pamela Powers was brutally murdered, her body dumped at the side of the road to freeze. Robert Anthony Williams was charged with the crime, and a series of trials, appeals, and reversals ensued. The Christian Burial Case: An Introduction to Criminal and Judicial Procedure introduces readers to the intricacies of the American legal system, using the Williams case to illustrate all the stages of the legal process from the point of arrest, to the trial, the appellate process, and, ultimately, the Supreme Court. The text clearly and concisely explains criminal and court procedures in the context of the Williams case, paying careful attention to the rights against self-incrimination and to counsel, and to the role of the exclusionary rule in our system of justice. This unique introduction to criminal justice and judicial procedure captures the imagination of the reader as it chronicles The Christian Burial case from beginning to end.
Because the suspect was observed leaving the scene of the crime with the body of the victim, the Williams case seemed to be open and shut. But due to police procedures in apprehending and questioning the suspect, the resolution of the case took fifteen years and two United States Supreme Court decisions. By highlighting the difficulties of determining the facts of the case and the proper procedural laws that were applicable, McInnis demonstrates the complexities inherent in the legal system. This compelling book is a must-read for all people interested in learning more about criminal procedure and judicial processes.