||"At the age of twenty-three, Edward Lee Elmore, a black man, was arrested after the body of a white widow was found, brutally beaten, in the closet of her home. Elmore was an unlikely killer: semiliterate, mentally retarded with a fifth-grade education, gentle and loving with his family. His connection to the victim was minimal, but barely ninety days after the victim's body was found, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Raymond Bonner gives us an exhaustive account of the particulars of racism, prosecutorial misconduct, inept defense lawyers, and injustice in Elmore's case, which, the author makes clear, occur in courts throughout America. He carefully examines each stage of the initial trial--jury selection, the role of the lawyers and judge, the appeal process--and introduces us to the spirited young female lawyer who, for two decades, fought to get Elmore a fair trial."