Murder is the Charge: The True Story of Mayor Charlie Robertson and the York, Pennsylvania, Race Riots

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780940159884
  • Publisher: Camino Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/14/2004
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 0.93 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2004

    Justice in America's First Capital

    This is an interesting study of how the media can influence the American justice system. Innocence and/or guilt are apparently not the most important issue at hand.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2004

    The Courtroom as Theater: A Tragedy

    William C. Costopoulos, who co-authored Murder is the Charge with Brad Bumsted, compares the drama of a trial playing out in court to Greek theater -- mostly tragedy. Costopoulos was the defense attorney for Charlie Robertson, the mayor of York, Pennsylvania, who stood trial in 2002 for the killing of a young African American woman gunned down during a race riot in 1969, when Robertson was a York police officer. The theater image is apt. The story of the trial is packed with drama, both the action that takes place in the courtroom and the nightmare of the riot that tore apart York 32 years before, as it is recalled by defendents, attorneys, prosecutors and relatives of Lillie Belle Allen, one of the murder victims. A white police officer, Henry Schaad, a 22-year-old rookie, was also murdered by gunfire during the riots. Robertson was not at the scene of Lillie Belle Allen's murder, but he was indicted and brought to trial more than three decades later because of testimony that alleged he helped incite the violence. The authors build a case that Robertson, who was found not guilty, stood trial because he was a high-profile political target. There is also the suggestion that a personal vendetta helped fuel the prosecution's case against the mayor. The local newspapers, which were on a crusade for journalism awards, put Robertson in their sights, too, the book maintains. Although Robertson is acquitted and walks out of the courthouse a free man -- deemed innocent of the charges by a jury of his peers -- his life is in shambles. Where is the justice in that? Maybe the answer is that a system that attempts to untangle the circumstances of an explosion of mindless violence that erupted so long ago is bound to come up short. On the other hand, the actual murderers of Lillie Belle Allen were convicted during the same trial. The story is built on layers of tragedy and echoes with hateful chants, cries of anguish, the rattle of gunfire in the streets. It's an interesting and provocative book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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