On American Soil

On American Soil

How Justice Became A Casualty of World War II

eBook - 2005
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"The storyline that Hamann uncovers is compelling enough. But it is the crime's historical context -- wartime racial dynamics, colossal Army incompetence, international political implications, and the (humane) treatment of POWs, for example -- that makes the book so relevant today." -- Booklist
On a hot August night in 1944, a soldier's body was discovered hanging by a rope from a cable spanning an obstacle course at Seattle's Fort Lawton. The body was identified as Private Guglielmo Olivotto, one of the thousands of Italian prisoners of war captured and brought to America. The murder stunned the nation and the international community. Under pressure to respond quickly, the War Department convened a criminal trial at the fort, charging three African American soldiers with the lynching and firstdegree murder of Private Olivotto. Forty other soldiers were charged with rioting, accused of storming the Italian barracks on the night of the murder. All forty-three soldiers were black. There was no evidence implicating any of these men. Leon Jaworski, later the lead prosecuter at the Watergate trial, was appointed to prosecute the case and seek the death penalty for three men who were most assuredly innocent. Through his access to previously classified documents and the information gained from extensive interviews, journalist Jack Hamann tells the whole story behind World War II's largest army court-martial -- a story that raises important questions about how justice is carried out when a country is at war.
Publisher: [New York] : Algonquin Books, 2005
ISBN: 9781565128071
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource (368 pages)
Call Number: eBook

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