The Velvet Hammer: Judge Belvin Perry, Jr.’s Capital Murder Cases and Memoir

By Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., Amy Mitchell

After retiring from twenty-five years on the bench, former chief judge, Belvin Perry Jr., reveals a rare and disturbingly vivid first-hand perspective of the most gruesome death penalty cases he played a key role, including the infamous Casey Marie Anthony, who was dubbed “America’s Most Hated Mom” after her shocking acquittal of murdering her two-year-old daughter.

The Velvet Hammer is the gripping, true crime memoir of former Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who sentenced some of Florida’s most evil and notorious murderers to death, fulfilling his oath to uphold justice. Perry provides a clear, accurate description of America’s criminal justice system and explains why the death penalty can, and should, work and how it was applied to certain capital murder cases he either prosecuted or presided over.

Perry discusses his journey as an African American growing up in the segregated South, his life as a prosecutor and chief judge, and how he ended up presiding over one of the world’s most intriguing capital murder trials of the century: State of Florida v. Casey Marie Anthony.

From the widow who slowly poisoned her lovers; to the lust murderer who mutilated his victim while she was still alive; to the serial killer who slayed a family of four, including his own child; as well as several other violent and frightening murders, Perry spares none of the gory details when bringing each case back to life in his debut, true crime memoir.