So, you’ve been shocked by the startling revelations at the end of False Accusations. Following are several discussion topics to share with your book group–but if you have not yet finished the novel, don’t read these questions until you’ve done so. They may contain spoilers. Enjoy! Alan
1. Do you know anyone who has fallen victim to false accusations, either in the workplace or in the legal arena?
2. The FBI has said that there’s a fine line between a law abiding citizen and one who crosses that line when his back is up against the wall and he feels desperate. Have you ever found yourself in a position where, faced with a desperate situation, you considered doing something illegal?
3. Should Ryan Chandler have said something about his beer can theory, or was he right to remain silent about it?
4. Did Brittany Harding get “what she deserved,” even though the murder accusations against her were false?
5. Do you believe the legal tenet of “innocent until proven guilty” is possible in high profile cases that are played repeatedly in the media, talked about and parsed on news programs?
6. Do the scenarios presented in False Accusations change your opinion of the criminal justice system in any way, particularly as it relates to the death penalty?
7. If you were in Phillip Madison’s shoes, what would you have done to prove your innocence?
8. Let’s say that you have the ability to modify the criminal justice code. If a lab result determines that a suspect is guilty, but the sample that was tested was obtained illegally, should that result be thrown out? The law says it should be; but would our justice system be better if it looked at the bottom line—that the test results proved his guilt—or should it throw out valid test results because of a technicality over proper “search and seizure”?
9. A defense attorney’s job is to represent his client and to ensure that his rights are protected and that he receives a fair trial. Do you think that should include twisting the facts to try to get his client “off”? Or should his responsibilities stop at providing a fair and reasonable defense, without lying, omitting information, or resorting to procedural trickery to help his client beat the charges against him?