Scandal In The Courtroom, Fund Guilty Without Trial
(Grant Dinehart Langdon)
Scandal in the Courtroom, Found Guilty without Trial is anon-fiction book about a farm family in Copake,New York that has three barns burned by an serial arsonist. After the author puts presure on the Sheriff, who apparently is not acting to stop the arsons, the authors 19-year-old son is arrested for burning his barn to discredit him. When the trial is about to begin the District Attorney discovered the Sheriff determind a different person burned the barn. A cover-up is devised and charges dropped before trial.A law suit is started in Federal court. The county, that admitted guilt when the charges were dropped, stalls until the statute of limitations run out. Now the county said the arrest was proper.The Federal District Judge nowdenies a hearing, then rulls for the county because of a missing affidavit. He thenmakes his decision final andthe missing affidavit can not be submitted for appeal. Without the affidavit the appeal would fail. The author complanes about the judge to the Court of Appeals. The Chief judge sent the complant to the District judge for comments, then denies the complaint. It is appealed to the full Judicial Council who upholds the Chief Judge. No investigation is ever done of the authors charges. The author proposes a change in the law to require an investigation by the Department of Justice of any charge of Judicial mis-conduct.
Because the serial arsonist kept burning buildings, including the Copake Theater, the insurance offfice, lumber yard, and other buildings,the authors son is still considered the be "the Copake Arsonist." The son is driven from town and the author is discredited to the point he is unable to raise money to continue the family farm and loses everything. He moves to Ohio with only $200 in his pocket, where he writs his book.