Jaime Evanoff, Staff Writer
Utica College Professors Raymond Philo and James Brown recently published “Corr of the American Criminal Justice System,” a textbook studying the local murder of New Hartford police officer Joseph Daniel Corr that occurred in 2006. This case is the largest criminal investigation in the history of Oneida County to date. It was a multi-state case that gripped the entire northeast.
“We had over 300 police officers working on it initially, with various specialties,” said former Chief of Police Raymond Phil. “There were so many lessons to be learned during that time and ten years later, we need to be talking about these lessons.”
During the time of Corr’s case, digital records weren’t being kept and there was no centralized location of evidence or information. After years of hard work, with the assistance of local offices, Brown and Philo were able to collect various pieces of the Corr case.
“We wanted to preserve the history of the case because it was lost,” Brown said. “The hardest thing we had to do throughout the entire process was recreate the official record.”
The entire process of evidence and data collection took them more than two years. Once the information was centralized, the writing and research began.
Both Brown and Philo have field experience and were involved in this case during the time. Now that they are professors, they seem to agree that there is a huge advantage in having a practical look at the criminal justice system, which their textbook provides, rather than the theoretical approach.
“We wanted to provide the readers with real documents- the look and feel of an indictment, trail transcript, a hearing,” Philo said. “Most textbooks just talk about them, but in our text we have the original trial transcripts, state and federal, photos of evidence and radio transmissions.”
The book is interactive, so if the reader goes online they will find the actual documents mentioned in the text.
“We wanted to have an archival textbook that provided an overview of the American criminal justice system through the lens of a single case, which we think we did, through a new term- enhanced case study,” Brown said. “The most important thing to understand is that this is a textbook, not a story of Corr’s life.”