“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

The Third Degree – The Triple Murder of 3 Chinesemen that Shook Washington and Changed American Criminal Justice

Posted: April 16th, 2018 | No Comments »

I must plug Scott Seligman’s great new book….The Third Degree

Three years in the making, The Third Degree: The Triple Murder that Shook Washington and Changed American Criminal Justice is finally being published! It is already available on Amazon.com

Anyone who has ever seen an episode of Law and Order can probably recite a suspect’s “Miranda rights” by heart. But what most people don’t know is that these rights had their roots in the compelling case of a young Chinese man accused of murdering three of his countrymen in Washington, DC in 1919.

The nation’s capital had never seen anything quite like it: three foreign diplomats assassinated in the city’s tony Kalorama neighborhood, and no obvious motive or leads. The Washington police were baffled. But once they zeroed in on a suspect, they held him incommunicado without formal arrest for more than a week until they had browbeaten him into a confession.

Part murder mystery, part courtroom drama and part landmark legal case, The Third Degree tells the forgotten story of a young man’s abuse by the police and his arduous, seven-year journey through the legal system that drew in Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John W. Davis and even J. Edgar Hoover. It culminated in a landmark Supreme Court ruling penned by Justice Louis Brandeis that set the stage for Miranda v. Arizona many years later.

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