Life for Death: A True Story of Crime and Punishment

by Michael MEWSHAW | Nonfiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0385145055 Global Overview for this book
Registered by nicolesinger of Newport, North Carolina USA on 4/17/2010
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Journal Entry 1 by nicolesinger from Newport, North Carolina USA on Saturday, April 17, 2010
I can't help feeling there's a lot to this story that sounds familiar: Wealthy, but debauched and abusive parents who chose their older son in particular to pick on. That son, Wayne, who confessed to shooting both of them after several unsuccessful attempts to run away. The younger son, Lee, who gave conflicting accounts of the morning of the shootings and later had as little as possible to do with his brother. And a justice system that fell somewhere between not giving a damn and actively covering up the less savory details of the parents' lives and any evidence that might have helped Wayne.

The book was written by a childhood friend of both boys, whose family more or less took Wayne in as one of their own - visiting him in prison, spending a lot of effort and money they really didn't have trying to get him legal help after his conviction - so he is not a 100% objective reporter. But it's hard to interpret the evidence he found to say anything other than that Wayne got a raw deal - first from his parents and then from the legal system.

The murders took place in 1961. I'd like to think there's more protection today for the Waynes of the world nearly fifty years later, but somehow I'm not entirely convinced that there is. I hope so, anyway.

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