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5.0 out of 5 stars A web of white lies, 12 Jan 2012
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This review is from: White Lies (Misc. Supplies)
Recently re-read "White Lies" after some twenty years, Nick Davies' disturbing account of gross racial injustice in a small East Texas town, Conroe, where an innocent victim Clarence Brandley, a black high school janitor, was set up and convicted by a web of white lies and sentenced to death for murder for no reason other than he was black. And because of the colour of his skin, in the eyes of the law and the legal establishment of Conroe, Montgomery County, Brandley was presumed guilty from the outset and elected to be the murderer. Right from the outset too, law enforcement officer Wesley Styles, Texas Ranger, (complete with gleaming white stetson and sparkling silver star) had kept a blind focus on convicting Brandley for the murder, operating on the basis that he had already gotten his man and to hell with any leads that could prove otherwise. So black Brandley was elected to be the murderer, simple as that, even before an investigation had been properly conducted. Once Brandley had been elected the fallguy, the Conroe courthouse set out full steam ahead to convict him, steamrollering over any facts or evidence at odds with their predetermined conclusion.

"White Lies" dramatically exposes the grim, chilling truth obscured by the maze of corruption (legal establishment and law enforcement conspiracy and witness intimidation) underlying this gross, ugly perversion of justice in 1981 (yes, in the 1980's would you believe!) - a perversion of justice that was the legal equivalent of Ku-Klux-Klan lynch-mob justice of an earlier time, almost resulting in what would have been a legal lynching fully endorsed by the town of Conroe, Montgomery County, Texas. At the dark heart of the project to convict Brandley was the Conroe courthouse itself, with a roll call (among others) of District Attorney in collusion with a succession of judges who had a blind focus set on convicting their elected victim Brandley and sending an innocent man to his death. Texas injustice, Conroe courthouse style, ensured that Brandley's fate was sealed and the verdict in the trial a foregone conclusion.

And the town of Conroe stood by twiddling it's thumbs and watched it happen! There was no campaign from the local press or from leading citizens of the town to clean up the court - on the contrary, the press relished Brandley's conviction. Corrupt public officials who had run the trial and watched Brandley being railroaded were returned to office as a matter of course at the next elections. Ultimately, Brandley's outrageous conviction was an act of the white people of Conroe who knew their ringleaders in the courthouse were up to no good and did nothing about it. With an appalling track-record of public murder of black people in its recent history, the reputation of Conroe and its courthouse was left in ruins. Dramatic account of a monstrous miscarriage of justice in Conroe, Montgomery County, Texas.
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Initial post: 11 Feb 2012 11:53:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jul 2012 11:26:18 BDT
*Confirm Brandley is surname used in title of my Hardcover copy, Chatto & Windus (1st ed.) 1991, not Bradley as stated in some editions.
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Michael Murphy
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland.

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