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The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist
The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South | Radley Balko, Tucker Carrington
This is a tale of two tragedies. At the heart of the first is Dr. Steven Hayne, a doctor the State of Mississippi employed as its de facto medical examiner for two decades. Beginning in the late 1980s, he performed anywhere from 1,200 to 1,800 autopsies per year, five times more than is recommended, performed at night in the basement of a local funeral home. Autopsy reports claimed organs had been observed and weighed when, in reality, they had been surgically removed from the body years before. But Hayne was the only game in town. He also often brought in local dentist and self-styled "bite-mark specialist" Dr. Michael West, who would discover marks on victim's bodies, at times invisible to the naked eye, and then match those marks--"indeed and without doubt"--to law enforcement's lead suspect. This leads to the second tragic tale: that of Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks, two black men convicted in separate cases of the brutal rape and murder of young girls. Dr. Hayne's autopsy and Dr. West's bite mark matching formed the bases for the convictions. Combined the two men served over thirty years in Mississippi's notorious penitentiary--Parchman Farm--before being exonerated in 2008. Brooks's and Brewer's wrongful convictions lie at the intersection of the most pressing problems facing this country's criminal justice system--structural injustice built on the historic foundation of race and class and the much more contemporary but equally egregious problem of invalid forensic science. The old problem is inextricably bound up with and exacerbates the new. In The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist, Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington write a true story of Southern gothic horror--of two innocent men wrongly convicted of vicious crimes and the legally condoned failures that allowed it to happen. Balko and Carrington shine a light on the institutional and professional failures that allowed this tragic, astonishing story to happen, identify where it may have happened elsewhere, and show how to prevent it from happening again.
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KoriBReadin
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“It‘s much easier to let two experts butt heads, and leave it to the jury to decide which one they believe.” —- Wow - seriously one of the most 👀-opening books I have read in a long time.

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PedanticPastorMartha
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The authors not only tell the stories of miscarriages of justice, but lay out the cases against Hayne and West clearly and definitively--and explain why nothing can be done. Expert testimony is an contested area of law/evidence, for reasons that they explain well. Well-written, exhaustively researched, highly recommended.

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EmG
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Heard about this book from a podcast - .@tobyballnh true crime book club - .@crimewriterson - half way through - excellent BUT dispiriting, enraging.

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CoffeeK8
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Pickpick

The injustices described in this book are upsetting and heartbreaking. I‘m so sad that we are still experiencing these type of injustices today.

47 likes2 stack adds
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tricours
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Pickpick

Well, wow. I had no idea things worked this way in the US. To be honest, I don‘t know how it works here either, but it can hardly get any worse than the US. This was very, very interesting. The lynching stories and that entire part of the book was fascinating as well. It makes me think about how people are aghast about how executions were public events in the Middle Ages in the western world...

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LiteraryLona
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Our local coroner owns a funeral home. As far as I know, the position has never been filled with a medical professional. This book delves into the political and personal repurcussions of a budget-constrained set in it's ways system, and how it failed it's citizens. Listening on Audible.

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JessNevertheless
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Listening to this audiobook as I do mindless work and I'm so thankful my office door is closed otherwise people could hear me saying WTF and similar exclamations every few seconds. If you need to feel angry about bad science, terrible justice systems, and corrupt people, this is a book for you. 😡😡😡

48 likes4 stack adds
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saguarosally
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Who cares about justice when you have procedures and rules? Also, hi. I read a book and it‘s nice to be back. Someone must have recommended that everyone follow me. 😂📚

Bookzombie 😂 People to Follow was changed. There are several things that factor in now so you are coming up on people‘s lists. 10mo
saguarosally @Bookzombie I was wondering. Is that something that comes up before you join? 10mo
Bookzombie No, if you are on your normal feed there is a symbol of a person with plus sign in the top left corner. If you go to that it will give you people to follow. I think they can select to follow everyone on the list of 150. The list also changes daily based on the things I can‘t remember. Lol. 10mo
Bookzombie Here is a link to a post about it: Litsy's post on Litsy http://litsy.com/p/ZFFGZmppenNk 10mo
saguarosally @Bookzombie Aha! I‘m so out of the loop. Time for books and pirate-y things! 10mo
41 likes5 comments
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whatsthEStorey
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Pickpick

A chilling exposé of corruption, institutional racism, & junk science, this book had me RAGING. A prominent coroner & a "forensic" dentist basically take the Mississippi justice system hostage for 20+ years with fake science & nobody says a word & it's still not fixed. This was also a good history lesson. At times, there was so much information it was overwhelming & hard to follow, but that speaks more to the subject than the writing.

37 likes1 stack add
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KryssyB
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Sace
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I'm a rebel and started with episode 6. I'll be listening to the rest of the series for sure! Tagged book was mentioned in this episode and I really want to read/listen to it now.

EmilyM Just added this series to my library!!🤩 14mo
Sace @EmilyM I hope you enjoy it! 14mo
75 likes2 comments
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Kaye
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Listening in audio. Trying to find a book that clicks.

87 likes4 stack adds
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ShookBelf
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Pickpick

A true crime book with more WTAF moments per minute than any other book I've read. I listened to the audiobook and in these moments, I almost flung my phone against the wall/floor/husband's head, in my complete outrage. The level of racism, injustice and total lack of apathy displayed by the justice system of Mississippi is without a doubt the most harrowing thing I've read in a long, long time.
It's by no means an easy read but a worthwhile one.

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ElectricKatyLand
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An expose of the corruption and injustice at work in the Mississippi criminal investigation and court systems. The authors present an infuriating account of systemic racism, political machinations, and faulty science resulting in preventable miscarriages of justice.

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Monica5
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#Junewrapup
I read 12 books this month. A slow month, had a lot going on.
A Breath After Drowning - Alice Blanchard, 13 - Steven Cavanagh, Mr. Flood 's Last Resort - Jess Kidd, Edge of Darkness-Karen Rose, The Cadaver King & The County Dentist- Radley Balko, Shoot First -stewart Woods, Red Alert, The 17th Suspect, Private Princess - James Patterson, Beneath a Ruthless Sun -Gilbert King, I'll Be Gone In The Dark McNamara, The Cutting Edge- Deaver

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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

For years, a coroner and dentist, both unqualified, worked together and separately within Mississippi to assist in the conviction of often innocent people. The justice system not only allowed this but propped these men up. This riveting book is a damning indictment of what can occur within the justice system when cronyism, junk science, and an unwillingness to realistically self-assess come together. Chilling.

AmyG This sounds really good! 1y
LiteraryLona I‘m adding this one to my list!! 1y
57 likes9 stack adds2 comments
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nikirtehsuxlol
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Wrongful convictions happen for 8 reasons 1️⃣ Bad police work 2️⃣ Prosecutorial misconduct 3️⃣ False confessions 4️⃣ Faulty eyewitness identification 5️⃣ Jailhouse snitches 6️⃣ Bad lawyering 7️⃣ Sleeping judges 8️⃣ Junk science

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Monica5
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I have to say this book scared the hell out of me. Too think we live in an era when this can still happen is unbelievable. If you think our legal system protects innocent people from being falsely convicted, be prepared for your faith to be shattered.

Chandi Wow, how freaky and disturbing this book sounds... good to get the truth out. 1y
Monica5 @Chandi it was so scary. To think that this is still going on, is just unbelievable. 1y
CoverToCoverGirl Great review! It‘s scary how often this kind of injustice happens.. wishing the world was a better place.. 1y
18 likes3 comments
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NatalieR
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Panpan

I love true crime and appreciate how the authors are exposing wrongdoings by this coroner and dentist. I was surprised to learn the history of coroners and medical examiners. For some reason, this one never sucked me in and that disappoints me. It‘s probably me. Maybe I would have a different reaction if I had read it in print. 🤷🏻‍♀️

kristina_with_a_k I read it in print (DNF) and it‘s not any better. 😕 2y
NatalieR @kristina_with_a_k Thanks for the validation. I wish I would‘ve bailed. I get frustrated with myself when I don‘t just move on. 2y
105 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ReadingDiva
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Guess who‘s back!!! Currently reading....

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AngelaG1
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Pickpick

The cure for low blood pressure.

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GeekGrl82
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Pickpick

I've had an interest in criminal justice since middle school. I have a Masters Degree in Legal Studies. I work for defense attorneys who do a lot of indigent defense. I know a lot of the facts behind prosecutorial misconduct. Even I was pissed off by this book.
Basic summary: Everything you see on CSI, NCIS, Bones, ect, is total bullshit. People are doing life, and on death row on this bad evidence. We have probably executed innocent people.

Mdargusch This sounds heartbreaking! 2y
GeekGrl82 @Mdargusch I went with infuriating, but similar concept. 2y
11 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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kristina_with_a_k
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I wanted this to be as good as it seemed. It just wasn‘t, and I‘m very sad about that.

9 likes2 stack adds
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bohemian_yogini
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I haven‘t even finished the author‘s note and I‘m already having a hard time putting this book down for dinner. 😍😅

#BooksWithBohemianYogini

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