Author of Debut Novel Says Cody Posey Should Not Receive Life Sentence

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Should kids have the right to use violence in order to save themselves? Greenberg says that based on the conditions in his book, they do, but in reality each case needs to be looked at individually. In Cody Posey’s case, Greenberg is a believer in Cody, stating that he can be rehabilitated, and that he absolutely does not deserve life in adult prison.

Joel A. Greenberg’s debut novel, “You Have the Right to Remain Violent,” (available at http://www.joelagreenberg.com) is the story of what happens when a town’s children are co-opted into its secret crimes. The novel follows a group of schoolchildren who befriend each other, fight each other, betray each other, and finally help redeem each other.

In the process, Greenberg is socially astute. With the same dystopian eye of George Orwell (1984), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World), and Shirley Jackson (The Lottery), Greenberg shows how a society’s corruption can ultimately be traced to its hidden crimes. But in the case of this novel, it is not the violence of adults, but the violence of children, that concerns Greenberg. Violence that puts friend against friend, like a modern day "Lord of the Flies," only in this novel, adults are present -- corrupt adults who coerce the children into criminal acts in order to retain the conditions that perpetuate the violence in the first place. The adults are the choreographers, the children are the performers, and the town is representative of Anytown, USA.

Greenberg is on the side of the children in this novel. They are mistreated, taught violence, and are basically given the right to remain violent. Unlike the mistreated children in the novels of Charles Dickens, however, they do not remain angels. They save the town, but at the price of their own innocence, using what they've been taught against those who taught it to them. Readers of this novel will find themselves loving the children, some defending them, and some not. This is Greenberg’s aim in this morally complex—but realistic—tale. And that raises a very interesting question - one that many people who have followed the recently publicized Cody Posey case have strong opinions about, including this author: Should kids have the right to use violence in order to save themselves? Greenberg says that based on the conditions in his book, they do, but in reality each case needs to be looked at individually. In Cody Posey’s case, Greenberg is a believer in Cody, stating that he can be rehabilitated, and that he absolutely does not deserve life in adult prison.

About the Author

Joel A. Greenberg is a graduate of Emerson College, Boston, with a degree in Mass Communications. He has also operated his own mobile disc jockey business in the Greater Boston area for more than 20 years. He has a well-earned reputation amongst teenagers as being the number one most requested DJ/emcee in the Boston area. In addition to this, Joel also used his creative talents to organize numerous teen celebrity parties, sending all the proceeds from them to different charitable organizations.

“You Have the Right to Remain Violent,” is available to order online at BookSurge.com, Amazon.com, Borders.com, and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide. More info is available via the author's website at http://www.joelagreenberg.com

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Joel Greenberg

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