Expose of Oklahoma's Death Row
Death and Justice, released Tuesday, is a new book exposing the corruption and injustice in the application of the death penalty in Oklahoma. The big surprise to us is the book's principal author: Former OJ cop, Mark Fuhrman.
We spoke with Fuhrman for about 20 minutes last night while we were both in the green room at Fox News in New York waiting to go on Hannity and Colmes. We are delighted to report that he is close to being born-again on the topic of the injustice in the death penalty system. He began the project as a death penalty supporter, thinking any mistakes that were made were few and far between and unintentional. He ended up believing the system is so untrustworthy, there should be a national moratorium until it can be determined whether the system can be fixed.
Fuhrman made four trips to Oklahoma while writing the book and interviewed dozens of officials, prosecutors and defense attorneys. Furman said he couldn't believe what these officals told him--and they weren't even ashamed.
Fuhrman said he absolutely believes there are more innocent people on death row in Oklahoma. He was shocked at what he found. In our conversation, he talked a lot about Joyce Gilchrist, the discredited police chemist. 11 people have been executed based on her work. Here's a paragraph from the book about Gilchrist (link below):
In 2001, the same year that the state of Oklahoma was executing inmates at an unprecedented rate, a series of high-court rulings, of ficial investigations, memos, and reports, as well as the usual chorus of outraged defense attorneys, had criticized Gilchrist for lying under oath "enhancing "the value of the evidence in her testimony and mismanaging the OCPD crime lab. Gilchrist had been a forensic chemist for more than twenty years. She had worked on more than fifteen hundred felony cases. Cops and prosecutors loved her; defense attorneys didn't.
"Joyce Gilchrist is a kick-ass expert witness, "Assistant District Attorney Richard Wintory told me. "That's why everybody is out to get her."
"Joyce Gilchrist is the most lyingest, cheatingest bitch on this earth, " said one prominent Oklahoma defense attorney …
Fuhrman told us there's only two options: Either Gilchrist is an incompetent chemist or a corrupt one. Either way, he said, the 1.500 felony cases she worked on are suspect.
You can read an excerpt of Chapter One of Furman's book, Frontier Justice, here.
We are impressed with Fuhrman and the work he did on this book. People change. We've met Fuhrman before and debated him numerous times, sometimes cordially, sometimes not--but we believe he's for real and we hope the book is a huge success--we 're glad to have him on our side on this one. The innocent people on death row in America really need this story told.
Death and Justice:
An Expose of Oklahoma's Death Row Machine
by Mark Fuhrman and Stephen Weeks
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