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April 6, 2009
AIU South Florida Campus
Michael Sheetz’ New Book, "Kill for Thrill," Brings Forth Death Penalty and Due Process Issues Spurred by Not‐Long‐Forgotten Pennsylvania Murders
WESTON, Fla., April 6, 2009– American InterContinental University (AIU) South Florida today announced that criminal justice professor and local author, Michael Sheetz, will speak on the nation’s criminal justice system. On Tuesday, April 14 at 6:30 PM, AIU criminal justice students will gather at AIU’s Weston campus to debate due process issues facing America.
"The American criminal justice system is founded on the concept of due process and protection of the rights of the accused. It’s as ingrained in the fabric of American jurisprudence as proof beyond a reasonable doubt and innocent until proven guilty," says AIU criminal justice professor, Michael Sheetz. "But despite these fundamental ideals, the cold harsh reality exists that our system will continue to function only as long as society believes in its validity, and doesn’t doubt the system’s ability to protect them."
Faith in the system is often shaken, but rarely in such stark relief as in the case of the "Kill for Thrill" murder spree, which is the topic of Sheetz’ new book, "Kill for Thrill: The Crime Spree that Rocked Western Pennsylvania."
In 1979, John Lesko and Michael Travaglia went on a seven‐day killing spree. When they were done, they had left four random, innocent victims in their wake—including a young African‐American rookie police officer.
Despite their full and voluntary confessions to all four murders, their 1981 convictions and death sentences have been the subject of contentious legal battles that continue to this day. While both men await yet another chance at freedom with their respective cases before
the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the victims and their families have been all but forgotten by the system.
To abolitionists, John Lesko and Michael Travaglia have become the poster children for the anti‐death penalty movement. Conversely, the fact that these confessed murderers have been afforded 30‐years of borrowed time upsets reformists hoping for an overhaul of what they claim is a broken system.
In either case, the plodding path that this case has taken calls into question some of the very foundational principles that AIU criminal justice students debate in the classroom each day.
To RSVP for AIU’s upcoming event where these criminal justice issues will be explored, please contact AIU marketing director, Karla Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Michael Sheetz’ new book, "Kill for Thrill: The Crime Spree that Rocked Western Pennsylvania," visit www.michaelsheetz.com. For more information about AIU and its criminal justice programs, call 1‐866‐AIU‐GRAD (1‐866‐248‐4723), or visit www.aiufl.edu.
American InterContinental University (AIU), established in Europe in 1970, awards Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees in a variety of disciplines. The AIU network includes seven campuses: AIU Buckhead (Atlanta, GA); AIU Dunwoody (GA); AIU South Florida (Weston, FL); AIU Los Angeles (CA), AIU Houston (TX), AIU London (England); and AIU Online (based in Illinois). For additional information, please visit www.aiuniv.edu. AIU is a member of the Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO) network of universities, colleges, and schools.
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