Pro Bono

The 18-year Defense of Caril Ann Fugate

Non-Fiction - Biography
336 Pages
Reviewed on 12/29/2013
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    Book Review

Reviewed by April Gilly for Readers' Favorite

Pro Bono: The 18-Year Defense of Caril Ann Fugate by Jeff McArthur gives the facts of Caril’s story after she was taken into custody the day she made a run from her boyfriend, Charles Starkweather, on the side of the interstate in Wyoming. Caril is a 14-year-old girl who is the witness to a killing spree that lasted 8 days in Lincoln and Bennett, Nebraska. Caril goes along with Charles because he has threatened her family and she witnesses him kill 10 people over the 8-day period. John McArthur and Merrill Reller, and later James McArthur, do everything they can to keep Caril from getting convicted, and once found guilty, they do everything they can to appeal her case and get her a new trial. The 3 attorneys stay with Caril through everything, up through the day she gets parole and starts life over.

Pro Bono: The 18-Year Defense of Caril Ann Fugate by Jeff McArthur is a gripping and well written book that takes you through the entire legal process, from first trial, through all appeals courts, and finally parole. Jeff McArthur stays away from the rumors and drama that circled around the case, except to mention that it was there and it affected how people thought of Caril and the trial in general. Jeff McArthur states his sources and does his best to give the facts of the case instead of doing like many others of the time and using the lies or words of Charles Starkweather. While I still don’t know if Caril is innocent or guilty of the crimes she was convicted for, I know that the justice system failed her when she needed it most.