KALAMAZOO—For its second Universitywide common read, Western Michigan University has selected a book that helped free an imprisoned man after 30 years—27 of them spent on death row.
Members of the public are invited to participate by delving into a copy of "Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong" by the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Raymond Bonner.
University Common Read 2013-14 will launch in early June to coincide with WMU's New Student Orientation activities, and copies of the text will be available for purchase through the WMU Bookstore.
WMU students and employees across campus will be reading and discussing the book throughout this summer and upcoming academic year. Related events planned for fall include presentation of the Ferris State University Jim Crow Museum's traveling exhibition and an Oct. 14 talk by Bonner.
About the book
"Anatomy of Injustice" tells the story of Edward Lee Elmore, a semiliterate, mentally impaired black man accused of brutally murdering an elderly white woman, and Diana Holt, the young attorney who spent more than a decade fighting on his behalf.
Elmore, who was arrested soon after the murder victim's body was found, was tried, convicted and sentenced to death in the span of about 90 days. According to Bonner, that unusually short timetable and what happened during Elmore's subsequent appeals add up to a textbook example of incompetent court-appointed defense attorneys, a virulent prosecution, and both misplaced and contaminated evidence.
Reviewers have consistently described his book as a meticulously researched and masterful piece of reporting that is a genuine whodunit and as well as an indictment of America's shameful history of racial discrimination and capital punishment.
For details about "Anatomy of Injustice," visit raymondbonner.net.