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An Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington, Jr. / Edition 1
     

An Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington, Jr. / Edition 1

5.0 1
by Margaret Edds
 

ISBN-10: 0814722229

ISBN-13: 9780814722220

Pub. Date: 08/01/2003

Publisher: New York University Press

How is it possible for an innocent man to come within nine days of execution? An Expendable Man answers that question through detailed analysis of the case of Earl Washington Jr., a mentally retarded, black farm hand who spent almost 18 years in Virginia prisons -- 9 1/2 of them on death row -- for a murder he did not commit. The book reveals the relative ease with

Overview

How is it possible for an innocent man to come within nine days of execution? An Expendable Man answers that question through detailed analysis of the case of Earl Washington Jr., a mentally retarded, black farm hand who spent almost 18 years in Virginia prisons -- 9 1/2 of them on death row -- for a murder he did not commit. The book reveals the relative ease with which individuals who live at society's margins can be wrongfully convicted and the extraordinary difficulty of correcting such a wrong once it occurs. Washington was freed in February 2001, not because of the legal and judicial systems, but in spite of them. While DNA testing was central to his eventual pardon, such tests would never have occurred without an unusually talented and committed legal team and a series of incidents that are best described as pure luck. An Expendable Man makes the chilling argument that some other "expendable men" almost certainly have been less fortunate than Washington. That is "the secret, shameful underbelly" of America's retention of capital punishment, the author writes. Such wrongful executions perhaps do not happen often, and perhaps less often in 2003 than 1983, the year Washington was arrested for the rape and murder of Rebecca Williams, a 19-year-old mother of three girls. But anyone who doubts that innocent men have been executed in America should remember the remarkable series of events necessary to save Earl Washington from such a fate.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814722220
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
08/01/2003
Pages:
243
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Timelinexi
1Countdown1
2Death in Culpeper10
3A Piedmont Son16
4Arrest27
5Confessions35
6The Trial45
7Prisoner69
8Deadline83
9A Discovery96
10Appeals113
11Strategies130
12An Ending152
13Revival166
14Freedom Delayed184
15The Aftermath196
Notes213
Recommended Reading231
Index235
About the Author243

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Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington, Jr. 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The End of Innocence refers to this reader's reaction to this book. Until reading this book I believed that the law had protections for the innocent. When accused unjustly I wondered why you wouldn't talk to the police. I thought that low-income people were afforded enough protection. I did not want to think that the mentally retarded were not afforded special protections. My innocence is gone. I contrast the near outcome of the Earl Washington case with the outcomes of other cases where the defendant was well to do and I shudder to think of many potential travesties of justice. The power of this book was enhanced for me because the author did not select someone who was without fault. I believe that people should read this book and discuss the reforms proposed. The book is well written and interesting and I consider it a must read.