The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 September 2003

Fuhrman finds a bloody test tube

I don't know if you'd call it a personal epiphany, but Mark Fuhrman, the detective who turned up the bloody glove in the O. J. Simpson case, has apparently turned his back on the death penalty; in Death and Justice: An Exposé of Oklahoma's Death Row Machine, Fuhrman, writing with Stephen Weeks, rakes various Oklahoma prosecutorial types, including retired Oklahoma County DA Bob Macy and disgraced forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist, over the coals.

"Catastrophic errors," says Fuhrman, "occur in many death penalty cases because of the pressure to make a strong case and get a capital conviction." And I suppose if anyone knows about catastrophic errors, it would be Fuhrman. But to err is human; to design the evidence to fit the suspect is monstrous. And some of what went on in Oklahoma County during the Macy years is truly the work of monsters. This book goes on my Must-Read list.

(Update, 12:20 pm: The Bubba World archive of "Junk Justice" may well be of interest here.)

Posted at 7:54 AM to Soonerland