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Preview — No Heroes, No Villains by Steven J. Phillips
No Heroes, No Villains
On June 28, 1972 in a South Bronx subway station, John Skagen, a white off-duty policeman on his way home, suddenly and without apparent provocation, ordered James Richardson, a black man on his way to work, to get against the wall and put his hands up. Richardson had a gun, and the two exchanged shots. In the melee that followed, Skagen was fatally wounded by a cop who ru ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 12th 1978 by Vintage
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Interesting but not engrossing, recommended mainly for its early 70s NYC milieu--and a fairly damning portrait of famed defense attorney William Kunstler. The case in question offers a lot of complexity, but Phillips is determined to tell his story straight and plain.
I'd gotten this book at a local university's annual book sale, only knowing that it was based on a true murder trial from the early 70's. While I did finish it, I probably wouldn't have if it was a longer book (243 pages). It was written by the prosecutor in the case and focused on the legal aspects of the case and not the human aspect, which was too analytical for me.
Apr 24, 2007 Charles rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with an opinion
First of all, this was a great source for learning about the criminal law process in the U.S. The case is laid out step by step from the crime that was committed, gathering of evidence, trial procedures, etc. The author lets you form your own opinions from the facts of the case. He is also the prosecutor.