|| A Question of Innocence
|| Brandilyn Collins
|| Avon Books, ©1995
1350 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
This book provides a true account of Serena Moore, a 14-year-old girl, who wrote in her diary that she had murdered her 4-year-old sister to prevent her stepfather from sexually abusing her. The case was tried in juvenile court and was observed by the author, a journalist. After reading their daughter's diary, the parents consulted with their pastor who advised them to call the police. In the trial, in juvenile court, the judge found Serena guilty of second degree murder. The case was overturned on appeal and a new attorney succeeded in moving for dismissal. The
first judge was reported to the California Commission on Judicial Performance for misconduct and the original two defense attorneys for legal malpractice. The author presents a very detailed and clear account of the two trials and how the
first trial represented a miscarriage of justice. Attorneys, judges, and lay people should read this book.
Reviewed by LeRoy G. Schultz, Professor Emeritus of Social Work, West Virginia University.