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Railroaded

Framed for Murder, Fighting for Justice
Narrated by: Chris Monteiro
Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
3 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A covered-up hate crime and longest-running fight for exoneration in America on record.

In 1968, a budding New York City entrepreneur who provided immigrants with jobs takes a Florida vacation with his family. Meanwhile, his relative, an employee, is murdered on Long Island. 

Upon returning to New York, Sam Sommer learns the fate of his wife’s uncle, Irving Silver, when he doesn’t show up to carpool to work. Three days pass with no clues about his death. Then a recent contractor at Sam’s deli sets up a meeting to share news on the investigation. 

Within moments after pulling into a donut shop parking lot to meet, Sam is kidnapped by detectives with the engine still running. While held in custody, he is beaten and allegedly confesses to the murder. 

Court proceedings amount to do-overs, appellate victories, and overturns, and mysterious documents. Sam is found guilty of murder in 1971. Within short order, his case is highlighted in college law courses. 

After surviving years of power-hungry guards and moving often from prison to prison for good behavior, Sam is released on parole in 1991. Justice continued to railroad him until 2015 when he finds an eerie document in the police archives that proves his innocence. That discovery triggered the re-opening of his case and free legal assistance. What will a momentous turn of events bring next?

©2019 Christopher Jossart (P)2019 WildBlue Press

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Paranoid, unsubstantiated, amateurish

The first clue (other than the meager cover art) should have been the overblown rhetoric and sloppy syntax in the summary. "A covered-up hate crime", "longest running fight for exoneration in America on record", "kidnapped by detectives". The author makes accusations of very specific prejudice, but gives no evidence whatsoever. This is made a bit more spurious by the fact that he finds it very easy to slur another specific ethnic group.

I have no idea if this man was unfairly treated, and I'm certainly not willing to accept police accounts on their face. But this book offers absolutely no reason to believe the author's claims. A quick internet search of a mugshot of the main character can give an indication of the veracity of the alleged beating. The man is squinting and has a slightly flushed cheek. These must have been the worst "bad" cops, ever. A disproportionate amount of time is spent on procedural technicalities (admittedly not an unimportant issue), however there is virtually nothing presented about the actual crime that might be considered exculpatory. And the fact is, the story is so lacking in credibility, I don't believe for a moment that the author would share any incriminating evidence. The story has the whiff of entitlement about it, hence the hyperbole regarding the less-than-precious treatment by law enforcement.

Potential buyers should note that some of the Amazon 5 Star reviews are by people involved in the story (easily discovered by viewing the YouTube preview of "Railroaded"), listed as "award-winning artist" and "acclaimed videographer". They didn't even try to hide their sham. I've learned my lesson, I will do some more diligent research prior to purchase in the future.