The Whole Truth: A Case of Murder on the Appalachian Trail

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1999 - Law - 249 pages
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On May 13, 1988, Stephen Roy Carr, a so-called mountain man living in Michaux State Forest in southcentral Pennsylvania, shot two female hikers while they were making love at a campsite near the Appalachian Trail. Rebecca Wight died at the scene. Claudia Brenner, despite five bullet wounds, survived to testify against her attacker.

In this book, H. L. Pohlman reconstructs the dramatic story of this murder case and traces its disposition through the criminal justice system. Drawing on interviews with participants as well as court records, he closely examines competing interpretations of the evidence. Was the attack a hate crime? A sex crime? A class crime? At the same time, he shows how a broad range of substantive and procedural issues -- from the rights of the accused to evaluation of potential mitigating circumstances -- can influence the assessment of culpability in homicide cases.

Much of Pohlman's analysis centers around two fundamental and related questions: To what extent did the adversarial system facilitate or hinder the discovery of the "whole truth" in the Carr case? And was justice served? Pohlman concludes by revisiting the ongoing debate over the nature of the American criminal justice system and the legitimacy of its ultimate sanction -- the death penalty.

 

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THE WHOLE TRUTH?: A Case of Murder on the Appalachian Trail

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

paper 1-55849-166-X A death-penalty trial is lent a fascinating air by its very low-profile, routine nature in Pohlman's (Political Science/Dickinson Coll.) careful, revelatory delineation of the ... Read full review

Contents

The Hikers
9
The Suspects
31
The Manhunt
53
The Lawyers
73
The Preliminary Hearing
95
The Suppression Hearing
121
The Pretrial Conference
148
The Decision
174
The Trial
190
The Aftermath
204
Conclusion
215
A Conversation with Stephen Roy Carr
223
Acknowledgments
241
Index
243
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About the author (1999)

H. L. Pohlman is professor of political science at Dickinson College. He is editor of Political Thought and the American Judiciary, published by the University of Massachusetts Press.

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