Manifest Justice

Manifest JusticeManifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom by Barry Siegel
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on January 22nd 2013
Pages: 400

Goodreads

In this remarkable legal page-turner, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Barry Siegel recounts the dramatic, decades-long saga of Bill Macumber, imprisoned for thirty-eight years for a double homicide he denies committing. In the spring of 1962, a school bus full of students stumbled across a mysterious crime scene on an isolated stretch of Arizona desert: an abandoned car and two bodies. This brutal murder of a young couple bewildered the sheriff 's department of Maricopa County for years. Despite a few promising leads—including several chilling confessions from Ernest Valenzuela, a violent repeat offender—the case went cold. More than a decade later, a clerk in the sheriff 's department, Carol Macumber, came forward to tell police that her estranged husband had confessed to the murders. Though the evidence linking Bill Macumber to the incident was questionable, he was arrested and charged with the crime. During his trial, the judge refused to allow the confession of now-deceased Ernest Valenzuela to be admitted as evidence in part because of the attorney-client privilege. Bill Macumber was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
The case, rife with extraordinary irregularities, attracted the sustained involvement of the Arizona Justice Project, one of the first and most respected of the non-profit groups that represent victims of manifest injustice across the country. With more twists and turns than a Hollywood movie, Macumber's story illuminates startling, upsetting truths about our justice system, which kept a possibly innocent man locked up for almost forty years, and introduces readers to the generations of dedicated lawyers who never stopped working on his behalf, lawyers who ultimately achieved stunning results. With precise journalistic detail, intimate access and masterly storytelling, Barry Siegel will change your understanding of American jurisprudence, police procedure, and what constitutes justice in our country today.

The first book I read by Barry Siegel was Claim of Privilege  , I was absolutely mesmerized by the book. Amazed that the government could withhold information from family members on the loss of their loved ones.

Manifest Injustice, like Just Mercy tells the story of a man caught in grips of a legal system gone awry. It is hard to understand exactly how our legal system gets so messed up. After reading Unfair I understand how juries are manipulated by lawyers,expert witnesses and judges that have agendas.

What interests me was it Bill Macumber who was the sociopath or was it his wife that lied? Nobody seemed to care that his wife lied. What was really going on between those two?

Obviously spending 37 years behind bars has to have an effect on one’s personality but it saddened me to find that Bill Macumber was found guilty of child sex abuse less than 12 months after he being released from prison, very sad indeed.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American CityEvicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Format: ebook
Published by Crown on March 1st 2016
Pages: 432

Goodreads

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.
The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.
Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.
Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

The rental market is rigged, it is especially so for the poor.  I don’t know how one of the most basic of necessities has become so abused.  Are there any reputable landlords out there, I think not, especially in poor communities.

The book follows eight families and two landlords experience with renting and renters in Milwaukee, it is not a pretty story.  We tend to forget the depth of poverty in this country.  The vacancy rate for cheap housing is in the single digits, it’s a landlords market and they know and exploit it.  Very sad, heart wrenching read, but also a necessary read.