9780299153441 / 0299153444

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About the book:

After fourteen years as a death row lawyer in Florida, Michael Mello has seen enough. Dead Wrong is a candid and compelling account of his decision to withdraw from "the machinery of death" - the American capital punishment system. Telling stories of cases he worked on - including those of confessed serial killer Ted Bundy and of "Crazy Joe" Spaziano, wrongly convicted but still on death row after twenty years - Mello provides an inside view of death row lawyering as no one has done before. He describes how he and others fought to make the post-conviction system work, ensuring inmates the right to a fair appeal. Alternately impassioned, angry, and haunted by the victims, crimes, and criminals, Mello draws us into the legal maze of appeals, death warrants, stays of execution, and executions. Though Mello is unflinching in his recognition of the brutal realities of capital crimes, his book is a powerful indictment of the death penalty enterprise in America. He is appalled at the lack of vigilance in a system that routinely punishes guilty and innocent alike. And, practicing in Florida, he saw the state's death penalty cost to taxpayers rise to an estimated average $3.2 million per execution - six times the average cost of life imprisonment.

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