Alumnus' new book tells painful story of wrongful conviction
In a recently published book, Justice Failed: How “Legal Ethics” Kept Me in Prison for 26 Years, accomplished alumnus Berl Falbaum helps tell the painful story of Alton Logan, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1982.
Falbaum worked with Logan to tell the details of his nightmarish experience nearly a decade after his exoneration in 2008. Logan spent 26 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, principally because four lawyers, who knew the identity of the real murderer — he was their client — remained silent for more than 2 ½ decades given that the legal ethical code requires lawyer-client confidentiality.
In the book, Falbaum helps Logan describe how, upon learning of his innocence one month after his arrest when he was 28 years old, the lawyers drafted an affidavit testifying to his innocence, locked the affidavit up in a strong box and stored it under the bed of one of the lawyers. The attorneys finally came forward after their client, the man who did fire the fatal shot, died in prison while he was serving time for the unrelated murders of two police officers. Logan also explains how he was the victim of police misconduct, and what he believes were abuses by prosecutors.
“The story of the wrongful conviction of Alton Logan in Chicago stands out as perhaps one of the most unusual and cruel stories in the history of American jurisprudence,” said Maurice Possley, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author.
In addition to 45 years as a member of the adjunct faculty in Wayne State University’s journalism department, Falbaum’s career includes 10 years as a general assignment and political reporter for The Detroit News, fifteen years in corporate public relations and four years in state politics as administrative aide to Michigan’s lieutenant governor. He founded his own PR company, Falbaum & Associates, in 1989. He has published eight other books, one of which, Shanghai Remembered, the story of some 20,000 Jews who escaped from Nazi Europe, won an IPPY award from the Independent Publishers Association.