They're Going to Kill My Son: A Man He Didn't Know a Murder He Didn't See a Death Sentence He Doesn't Deserve

They're Going to Kill My Son: A Man He Didn't Know a Murder He Didn't See a Death Sentence He Doesn't Deserve

by Shirley Dicks
     
 

Eighteen year old Jeff Dicks goes for a ride with his new friend, Chief. While in the car, Chief begins talking about robbing an old man's store. Although Jeff believes that Chief's rambling is only aimless boasting, they drive by the store, Jeff stops the car and Chief goes in. Later, he comes running out and orders Jeff to drive away. In a daze, Jeff does what

See more details below

Overview

Eighteen year old Jeff Dicks goes for a ride with his new friend, Chief. While in the car, Chief begins talking about robbing an old man's store. Although Jeff believes that Chief's rambling is only aimless boasting, they drive by the store, Jeff stops the car and Chief goes in. Later, he comes running out and orders Jeff to drive away. In a daze, Jeff does what Chief tells him to do. That night, Jeff watches a TV newscast in horror as he learns that Chief has robbed and killed the storekeeper. Jeffrey Dicks, the son of an impoverished Tennessee mother, languishes on death row for a robbery he didn't commit and a murder he didn't even see. His mother, Shirley Dicks tells this tense, personal and highly moving story of the bloody crime and aftermath which changed and may end her son's life. Shirley was unable to afford a competent legal defense. At the trial, the family was shocked when vital evidence was never presented to the jury. Jeff, who has no history of volunteer or criminal behavior, was convicted of murder and sentenced to die in Tennessee's electric chair. Jeff's loved ones have never lost faith in his innocence, but they must share his daily burden of deadly uncertainty and experience the painful frustrations of their attempts to set him free. Shirley is fervently pursuing an appeal - but time is running out.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dicks's son Jeff has been on death row in the Tennessee state penitentiary since 1982, when he was sentenced for participating in a 1978 holdup-murder. That he sat in the getaway car while an acquaintance committed the slaying is verified, but according to the law, he is guilty nonetheless. As portrayed here by his mother, Jeff was a naive, overprotected youth who was deeply compassionate toward the dispossessed; in her view, that helps to explain his association with the killer and with the orphan he married, who turned out to be a troubled wife and mother. Dicks ( Death Row ) chides herself for bungling every effort she made to help her son's defense, and his lawyer is presented as having been more interested in his fee than in his client. Although she diminishes the book's emotional impact by writing in the third person, Dicks makes her case convincingly, and readers are likely to agree that Jeff's death sentence is not just. 20,000 first printing. (Dec.)
Library Journal
The sheer weight of reasonable doubt in this case makes one wonder at the trial and appeals process in death penalty cases where the accused lack the financial resources for competent legal representation. Jeff Dicks is down to his last appeal. This book, written by his mother, shockingly brings home the best argument against capital punishment--that even after a ``fair'' trial an innocent person might be put to death. Dicks's account is both a cry of anguish and a testimony to the lengths a mother will go to try to save the life of her child. Jeff is not a savage killer with a long rap sheet. He is a naive kid who found himself in the wrong company, at the wrong place and time. Dicks argues that the proficiency of the law enforcement agencies, judicial system, press, and legal profession are at best questionable, more possibly prejudiced, and maybe even corrupt. She convinces the reader that the bungled defense of her son because he could not afford a better lawyer is prevalent in similar cases. Recommended for true crime collections.-- Robert Hodder , Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland Lib., St. John's

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780882821122
Publisher:
New Horizon Press
Publication date:
10/15/1992
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.33(h) x 1.01(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >