Gary Stuart

 

On his book Innocent Until Interrogated: The True Story of the Buddhist Temple Massacre and the Tucson Four

Cover Interview of September 20, 2010

The wide angle

With regard to the larger picture, my book chronicles moral and legal conflicts, political intrigue, retribution, and drastic consequences—all of which were unintended.

There is a dark evil here, smoldering under a blanket of law and order.

The central driver in the first case was the MCSO’s utter refusal to accept the reality that two twitchy teenagers were capable of the brutality that resulted in the stark execution of nine helpless people.

In the second case, the MCSO saw evidence of guilt rather than symptoms of mental illness as they coerced a confession out of a man on his way to see his psychiatrist.  He was an easily led camper, not a killer.

I wrote this book to help educated and inquiring adults get over the mentality that prevents many people from believing that innocent suspects can actually confess to crimes they did not commit.

A few confess because of some deep-seated compulsion—often for publicity, sometimes out of stupidity, and almost always out of fear.  The suspects profiled in my book confessed because the police induced them to confess.  It happens too often and in every state.  And we let it happen because we do not believe it is possible.

But it does happen—even several innocent people do confess falsely to accusations of even mass murder.

This is not a ponderous textbook. The book is scholarly, I hope, but not dogmatic. And I did not let the law get in the way of the facts.

I have avoided most of the academic jargon that surrounds books, including mine, about the law.  And this is, partly, because one of America’s greatest constitutional lawyers, Larry Hammond, urged me to write in a way that would bring average Americans into America’s police stations.

Through this simple lens, the reader might come face to face with a contrived confession of guilt from a completely innocent person.  I hope this may contribute more to the justice system than all the law reviews and law books I’ll ever write.