Books by Scott D. Seligman

   


Publication forthcoming in Spring, 2018.

To pre-order the book, click here.

The Third Degree: The Triple Murder that Shook Washington and Changed American Criminal Justice

Scott D. Seligman                          

Potomac Books

 

Anyone who has ever seen an episode of Law and Order, or most any crime drama on American television, can probably recite a suspect's “Miranda rights” by heart. You know - the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, etc. But what most people don’t know is that these rights had their roots in the compelling case of a young Chinese man accused of murdering three of his countrymen in Washington, DC in 1919.

The nation's capital had never seen anything quite like it: three foreign diplomats with no known enemies assassinated in the city's tony Kalorama neighborhood, and no obvious motive or leads. The Washington police were absolutely baffled. But once they zeroed in on a suspect, they held him incommunicado without formal arrest for more than a week until they had browbeaten him into a confession.

Part murder mystery, part courtroom drama and part landmark legal case, the book is the true, but forgotten story of a young man’s abuse by the police and his arduous, seven-year journey through the legal system that drew in Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John W. Davis and even J. Edgar Hoover. It culminated in a landmark Supreme Court ruling penned by Justice Louis Brandeis that set the stage for Miranda v. Arizona many years later.

 

Today, when the treatment of suspects between arrest and trial remains controversial, when bias against immigrants and minorities in law enforcement continues to deny them their rights and when protecting individuals against compulsory self-incrimination is still an uphill battle, this century-old legal spellbinder contains important lessons for our time.

 

 

 

Other Books
 

Tong Wars: The Untold Story of Vice, Money and Murder in New York's Chinatown 

The First Chinese American: The Remarkable Life of Wong Chin Foo

Three Tough Chinamen 

The Cultural Revolution Cookbook

Chinese Business Etiquette

Mandarin Chinese At a Glance

Recent Articles
 
The Nasty, Little-Known Turf Wars of Chinatown, NYC

Everything But Rats and Puppies

Echoes of the Chinese Exclusion Act in Immigration Debate

The Forgotten Story of the First Chinese American

The Hoosier Mandarin

The Night New York's Chinese Went Out for Jews

 


Blog Posts
 

Joseph Thoms: Defending America's Chinese

Confucian Confusion

And All My Words Come Back to Me...

Kennedy’s Aggression is Meeting with Growing Revulsion: 1962 Poster

Rediscovered: An Eloquent Chinese Voice Against Exclusion