JUSTICE FOR SOME is an expose, perhaps the book we have needed to
get our justice system in America moving toward one that is fair
for victims, witnesses and the accused. Add a dash of media
responsibility and education about victims’ rights, and you
have justice for all, not just for some.
In the introduction, Bill O’Reilly refers to the American
justice system as devolved and desperately in need of reform. Wendy
Murphy will give us many examples of the sorry state of our
criminal justice system today, and, through her years as an
attorney and child advocate, she pleads for accountability.
Murphy wants a better justice system and is not afraid to stand up
for what she believes in. A true advocate, she states, “I
struggle, but I still keep at it, mainly because I believe I have a
responsibility, as an attorney, to better promote the true meaning
and integrity of the word ‘justice’.”
The author discusses at length some of the fallacies of DNA left at
the crime scene or found on victims. Without additional
substantiated evidence, DNA won’t prove a case. She also
believes that Hollywood has created serious problems and actually
assists perpetrators by teaching them new tricks to evade
prosecution. She goes into detail about several convicted rapists
and how they were caught, considering that victims of rape to an
astounding degree will not report the crime.
Victims and witnesses have constitutional rights that should
protect them from harassment when trying to rightly impart their
side of a crime. In 2005 there began a movement called “stop
snitching,” whereby people started wearing t-shirts with that
message. “Approximately 40% of murders in Massachusetts went
unsolved in 2005. This is pretty good evidence that Stop Snitching
T-shirts and similar tactics are working --- and that the justice
Many times throughout the book, Murphy cites problems with the O.J.
Simpson trial and why he wasn’t found guilty. Among the
reasons: DNA issues, race-baiting, prosecution witness credibility
and more. She also talks about the details surrounding the Kobe
Bryant, Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson and Jon Benet Ramsey cases.
Regarding the latter, she shows that there were several important
steps either missed or neglected regarding the parent of the little
girl and the blatant mishandling of the case. “We need more
education about the deceptive things defense attorneys get away
with in the name of winning.”
Murphy doesn’t let the media off the hook either.
“Journalism is supposed to be about getting at the truth. The
misuse of media as a tool by which false information is dumped into
the court of public opinion in criminal cases is way out of
control.” The press needs the public to look more closely at
the facts that are being reported and take them to task when they
are misreported or one-sided.
She goes way out on a limb when talking about the lack of
intelligence and commitment of today’s juror: “In
addition to being dumb, jurors can’t think straight when the
accused is famous.”
All in all, there is something of interest here that is highly
thought-provoking. Hopefully, Wendy Murphy will make you angry
enough to move to action against what the American justice system
has become: Justice for Some.
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher on December 22, 2010