Convicting the Innocent

Death Row and the Ineqaulity of Justice
Author: Stanley Cohen
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 163220813X
Category: Social Science
Page: 312
View: 3001

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“A landmark in the fight against the death penalty. Extensively researched and brilliantly written” (Martin Garbus, criminal defense attorney). This investigation into wrongful convictions illustrates the tragic consequences that ensue when the American legal system goes awry. Whether it’s by eyewitness error, jailhouse snitch testimony, corrupt law enforcement, racism, junk science, tainted jury deliberation, prosecutorial misconduct, or incompetent counsel, gross malfeasance is all too possible, and not uncommon. Yet, while many innocent people are put on death row, there’s still an opportunity for justice. Award-winning journalist Stanley Cohen chronicles more than forty cases of men across the country who were arrested, convicted, sentenced, degraded by prison life, dragged through the appeals system, and finally set free because of evidence proving their innocence. These stories end with vindication, but in a country that has performed nearly a thousand executions since 1976, how many more inmates are suffering injustice at the hands of the justice system? The solution to America’s tarnished legal system may be elusive, but the questions raised in this “valuable accounting of a hidden societal plague” cannot be ignored (Kirkus Reviews).

End of Its Rope

How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice
Author: Brandon L. Garrett
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674981960
Category: Law
Page: 310
View: 9007

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Today, death sentences in the U.S. are as rare as lightning strikes. Brandon Garrett shows us the reasons why, and explains what the failed death penalty experiment teaches about the effect of inept lawyering, overzealous prosecution, race discrimination, wrongful convictions, and excessive punishments throughout the criminal justice system.

Just Mercy

A Story of Justice and Redemption
Author: Bryan Stevenson
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 0812994531
Category: Law
Page: 352
View: 2039

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#1 New York Times Bestseller | Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction | Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction | Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award | Finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize | Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize | An American Library Association Notable Book A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. Praise for Just Mercy “Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books “Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times “You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review “Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”—The Washington Post “As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times “Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”—John Grisham “Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today, and Just Mercy is extraordinary. The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

Anatomy of Innocence: Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted


Author: Laura Caldwell,Leslie S. Klinger
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
ISBN: 1631490893
Category: True Crime
Page: 320
View: 7452

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Recalling the great muckrakers of the past, an outraged team of America’s best-selling writers unite to confront the disasters of wrongful convictions. Wrongful convictions, long regarded as statistical anomalies in an otherwise sound justice system, now appear with frightening regularity. But few people understand just how or why they happen and, more important, the immeasurable consequences that often haunt the lucky few who are acquitted, years after they are proven innocent. Now, in this groundbreaking anthology, fourteen exonerated inmates narrate their stories to a roster of high-profile mystery and thriller writers—including Lee Child, Sara Paretsky, Laurie R. King, Jan Burke and S. J. Rozan—while another exoneree’s case is explored in a previously unpublished essay by legendary playwright Arthur Miller. An astonishing and unique collaboration, these testimonies bear witness to the incredible stories of innocent men and women who were convicted of serious crimes and cast into the maw of a vast and deeply flawed American criminal justice system before eventually, and miraculously, being exonerated. Introduced by best-selling authors Scott Turow and Barry Scheck, these master storytellers capture the tragedy of wrongful convictions as never before and challenge readers to confront the limitations and harsh realities of the American criminal justice system. Lee Child tells of Kirk Bloodsworth, who obsessively read about the burgeoning field of DNA testing, cautiously hoping that it held the key to his acquittal—until he eventually became the first person to be exonerated from death row based on DNA evidence. Judge John Sheldon and author Gayle Lynds team up to share Audrey Edmunds’s experience raising her children long distance from her prison cell. And exoneree Gloria Killian recounts to S. J. Rozan her journey from that fateful "knock on the door" and the initial shock of accusation to the scars she carries today. Together, the powerful stories collected within the Anatomy of Innocence detail every aspect of the experience of wrongful conviction, as well as the remarkable depths of endurance sustained by each exoneree who never lost hope.

Actual Innocence

Five Days to Execution and Other Dispatches from the Wrongly Convicted
Author: Jim Dwyer,Peter J. Neufeld,Barry Scheck
Publisher: Doubleday Books
ISBN: 038549341X
Category: Law
Page: 297
View: 1886

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Ten true tales of people falsely accused detail the flaws in the criminal justice system that landed these people in prison

Grave Injustice: Unearthing Wrongful Executions


Author: Richard A. Stack
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
ISBN: 1612341632
Category: Capital punishment
Page: 297
View: 3642

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On September 21, 2011, the controversial execution of Georgia inmate Troy Davis, who spent twenty years on death row for a crime he most likely did not commit, revealed the complexity of death penalty trials, the flaws in America's justice system, and the rift between those who are for and against the death penalty. Davis's execution reignited a long-standing debate about whether the death penalty is an appropriate form of justice. In Grave Injustice Richard A. Stack seeks to advance the anti-death penalty argument by examining the cases of individuals who, like Davis, have been executed but a

Ultimate Punishment

A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty
Author: Scott Turow
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374706470
Category: Social Science
Page: 176
View: 4158

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America's leading writer about the law takes a close, incisive look at one of society's most vexing legal issues Scott Turow is known to millions as the author of peerless novels about the troubling regions of experience where law and reality intersect. In "real life," as a respected criminal lawyer, he has been involved with the death penalty for more than a decade, including successfully representing two different men convicted in death-penalty prosecutions. In this vivid account of how his views on the death penalty have evolved, Turow describes his own experiences with capital punishment from his days as an impassioned young prosecutor to his recent service on the Illinois commission which investigated the administration of the death penalty and influenced Governor George Ryan's unprecedented commutation of the sentences of 164 death row inmates on his last day in office. Along the way, he provides a brief history of America's ambivalent relationship with the ultimate punishment, analyzes the potent reasons for and against it, including the role of the victims' survivors, and tells the powerful stories behind the statistics, as he moves from the Governor's Mansion to Illinois' state-of-the art 'super-max' prison and the execution chamber. This gripping, clear-sighted, necessary examination of the principles, the personalities, and the politics of a fundamental dilemma of our democracy has all the drama and intellectual substance of Turow's celebrated fiction.

In Spite of Innocence

Erroneous Convictions in Capital Cases
Author: Michael L. Radelet,Hugo Adam Bedau,Constance E. Putnam
Publisher: UPNE
ISBN: 9781555531973
Category: Social Science
Page: 399
View: 2688

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Few errors made by society can compare with the horror of executing a person wrongly convicted of a crime. This sobering book, which includes an expanded preface, tells the personal stories of over 400 innocent Americans convicted of capital crimes. Some were actually executed; most suffered years of incarceration, many on death row.

Kingpin

Prisoner of the War on Drugs
Author: Richard Stratton
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1628727284
Category: True Crime
Page: 304
View: 3487

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This fast-paced sequel to Smuggler's Blues is a harrowing and at times comical journey through the criminal justice system at the height of America's War on Plants. Captured in the lobby of the Sheraton Senator Hotel at LAX following a fifteen-year run smuggling marijuana and hashish as part of the hippie mafia, Richard Stratton began a new journey. Kingpin tells the story of the eight years that followed, through two federal trials and the underworld of the federal prison system, at a time when it was undergoing unprecedented expansion due to the War on Drugs. Stratton was shipped by bus from LA' s notorious Glass House to jails and prisons across the country, a softening process known as diesel therapy. Resisting pressure to falsely implicate his friend and mentor, Norman Mailer, he was convicted in his second trial under the kingpin statute and sentenced to twenty-five years without the possibility of parole. While doing time in prisons from Manhattan's Criminal Hilton to rural Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, and New York, he witnessed brutality as well as camaraderie, rampant trafficking of contraband, and crimes by both guards and convicts. He first learned the lessons of survival. Then he learned to prevail, becoming a jailhouse lawyer and winning the reversal of his kingpin sentence and eventual release. Kingpin includes cameos by Norman Mailer and Muhammad Ali, and an account of the author's friendship with mafia don Joe Stassi, a legendary hitman from the early days of the mob who knew gangsters Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Abe Zwillman and has insights into the killing of Dutch Schultz and the Kennedy assassination Kingpin is the second volume in Richard Stratton's trilogy, Remembrance of the War on Plants.

The Injustice System

A Murder in Miami and a Trial Gone Wrong
Author: Clive Stafford Smith
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143124161
Category: Law
Page: 366
View: 2822

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Shares the story of the most discouraging case of the author's career, during which he defended an innocent Miami businessman whose murder conviction reflects disturbing and fundamental flaws in today's legal system.

Yankees 1936–39, Baseball's Greatest Dynasty

Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and the Birth of a New Era
Author: Stanley Cohen
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 1510720642
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 316
View: 3842

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The Story of the Greatest Yankees Team—and Baseball Team—of All Time New York, 1936. Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, and rookie Joe DiMaggio—with these six future Hall of Fame players, the Yankees embarked on a four-year run that would go down in the history books as the greatest Yankees team, if not, the greatest baseball team of all time. Over the next four years, the Yankees won four straight pennants, finishing an average of nearly fifteen games ahead of the second-place team. They won their four World Series by an overall margin of 16-3, sweeping the last two, putting the punctuation mark on baseball’s first true dynasty. Even the Ruthian Yankees of the twenties never won more than two consecutive world championships. From 1936 to 1939, the world was changing rapidly. America was in the grip of the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected president in the greatest landslide in American history. And Hitler’s Germany was on the move in the fall of 1939, just as the Yankee dynasty reached its climax. Against the backdrop of a world in turmoil, baseball, and America’s love for baseball, thrived. Starring the best team of all time, featuring little-known anecdotes of players and set against a history of the world, Yankees 1936–39, Baseball's Greatest Dynasty tells the tale of a legendary team that changed history.

When Law Fails

Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice
Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814762257
Category: Law
Page: 359
View: 5435

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Since 1989, there have been over 200 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States. On the surface, the release of innocent people from prison could be seen as a victory for the criminal justice system: the wrong person went to jail, but the mistake was fixed and the accused set free. A closer look at miscarriages of justice, however, reveals that such errors are not aberrations but deeply revealing, common features of our legal system. The ten original essays in When Law Fails view wrongful convictions not as random mistakes but as organic outcomes of a misshaped larger system that is rife with faulty eyewitness identifications, false confessions, biased juries, and racial discrimination. Distinguished legal thinkers Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., and Austin Sarat have assembled a stellar group of contributors who try to make sense of justice gone wrong and to answer urgent questions. Are miscarriages of justice systemic or symptomatic, or are they mostly idiosyncratic? What are the broader implications of justice gone awry for the ways we think about law? Are there ways of reconceptualizing legal missteps that are particularly useful or illuminating? These instructive essays both address the questions and point the way toward further discussion. When Law Fails reveals the dramatic consequences as well as the daily realities of breakdowns in the law’s ability to deliver justice swiftly and fairly, and calls on us to look beyond headline-grabbing exonerations to see how failure is embedded in the legal system itself. Once we are able to recognize miscarriages of justice we will be able to begin to fix our broken legal system. Contributors: Douglas A. Berman, Markus D. Dubber, Mary L. Dudziak, Patricia Ewick, Daniel Givelber, Linda Ross Meyer, Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Austin Sarat, Jonathan Simon, and Robert Weisberg.

The Innocent Man

Murder and Injustice in a Small Town
Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Dell
ISBN: 9780307576019
Category: True Crime
Page: 448
View: 7644

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the vein of Serial and Making a Murderer, John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction will terrify anyone who believes in the presumption of innocence. Impeccably researched, grippingly told, filled with eleventh-hour drama, it’s a book no American can afford to miss. In the town of Ada, Oklahoma, Ron Williamson was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But on his way to the Big Leagues, Ron stumbled, his dreams broken by drinking, drugs, and women. Then, on a winter night in 1982, not far from Ron’s home, a young cocktail waitress named Debra Sue Carter was savagely murdered. The investigation led nowhere. Until, on the flimsiest evidence, it led to Ron Williamson. The washed-up small-town hero was charged, tried, and sentenced to death—in a trial littered with lying witnesses and tainted evidence that would shatter a man’s already broken life, and let a true killer go free. Praise for The Innocent Man “Grisham has written both an American tragedy and his strongest legal thriller yet, all the more gripping because it happens to be true.”—Entertainment Weekly “Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his bestselling fiction.”—The Boston Globe “A gritty, harrowing true-crime story.”—Time “A triumph.”—The Seattle Times BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from John Grisham’s The Litigators.

The Death of Innocents

An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions
Author: Helen Prejean
Publisher: Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd
ISBN: 9781853116827
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 310
View: 9544

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Sr Helen Prejean has accompanied five men to execution since she began her work in 1982. She believes the last two, Dobie Williams in Louisiana and Joseph O'Dell in Virginia, were innocent, but their juries were blocked from seeing all the evidence and their defence teams were incompetent. 'The readers of this book will be the first "jury" with access to all the evidence the trail juries never saw', she says. The Death of Innocents shows how race, prosecutorial ambition, poverty and publicity determine who dies and who lives. Prejean raises profound constitutional questions about the legality of the death penalty.

Angel of Death Row

My Life As a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer
Author: Andrea D Lyon
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
ISBN: 9781482068016
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 242
View: 6093

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Nineteen times, death penalty defense lawyer Andrea D. Lyon has represented a client found guilty of capital murder. Nineteen times, she has argued for that individual's life to be spared. Nineteen times, she has succeeded. Dubbed the "Angel of Death Row" by the Chicago Tribune, Lyon was the first woman to serve as lead attorney in a death penalty case. Throughout her career, she has defended those accused of heinous acts and argued that, no matter their guilt or innocence, they deserved a chance at redemption. Now, for the first time, Lyon shares her story, from her early work as a Legal Aid attorney to her founding of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases. Full of courtroom drama, tragedy, and redemption, Angel of Death Row is a remarkable inside look at what drives Lyon to defend those who seem indefensible-and to win. There was Annette who was suspected of murdering her own daughter. There was Patrick, the convicted murderer who thirsted for knowledge and shared his love of books with Lyon when she visited him in jail. There was Lonnie, whose mental illness made him nearly impossible to save until the daughter who remembered his better self spoke on his behalf. There was Deirdre, who shared Lyon's cautious optimism that her wrongful conviction would finally be overturned, allowing her to see her grandchildren born while she was in prison. And there was Madison Hobley, the man whose name made international headlines when he was wrongfully charged with the murder of his family and sentenced to death. These clients trusted Lyon with their stories-and their lives. Driven by an overwhelming sense of justice, fairness, and morality, she fought for them in the courtroom and in the raucous streets, staying by their sides as they struggled through real tragedy and triumphed in startling ways. Angel of Death Row is the compelling memoir of Lyon's unusual journey and groundbreaking career.

Actual Innocence

When Justice Goes Wrong and how to Make it Right
Author: Jim Dwyer,Peter J. Neufeld,Barry Scheck
Publisher: New Amer Library
ISBN: 9780451209825
Category: Law
Page: 407
View: 7366

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A collection of nightmarish true tales of people falsely accused detail the slovenly police work, corruption, errant witnesses, and other flaws in the criminal justice system that landed these people in prison or on death row. Reprint.

Bloodsworth


Author: Tim Junkin
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 1565125142
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 294
View: 5561

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Charged with the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl in 1984, Kirk Bloodsworth was tried, convicted, and sentenced to die in Maryland’s gas chamber. From the beginning, he proclaimed his innocence, but when he was granted a new trial because his prosecutors improperly withheld evidence, the second trial also resulted in conviction. Bloodsworth read every book on criminal law in the prison library and persuaded a new lawyer to petition for the then-innovative DNA testing. After nine years in one of the harshest prisons in America, Kirk Bloodsworth was vindicated by DNA evidence. He was pardoned by the governor of Maryland and has gone on to become a tireless spokesman against capital punishment.

Slavery and the Death Penalty

A Study in Abolition
Author: Bharat Malkani
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317054423
Category: Law
Page: 232
View: 5528

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It has long been acknowledged that the death penalty in the United States of America has been shaped by the country’s history of slavery and racial violence, but this book considers the lesser-explored relationship between the two practices’ respective abolitionist movements. The book explains how the historical and conceptual links between slavery and capital punishment have both helped and hindered efforts to end capital punishment. The comparative study also sheds light on the nature of such efforts, and offers lessons for how death penalty abolitionism should proceed in future. Using the history of slavery and abolition, it is argued that anti-death penalty efforts should be premised on the ideologies of the radical slavery abolitionists.

Change of Heart

A Novel
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781416565604
Category: Fiction
Page: 352
View: 2362

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The acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a spellbinding tale of a mother's tragic loss and one man's last chance at gaining salvation. Can we save ourselves, or do we rely on others to do it? Is what we believe always the truth? One moment June Nealon was happily looking forward to years full of laughter and adventure with her family, and the next, she was staring into a future that was as empty as her heart. Now her life is a waiting game. Waiting for time to heal her wounds, waiting for justice. In short, waiting for a miracle to happen. For Shay Bourne, life holds no more surprises. The world has given him nothing, and he has nothing to offer the world. In a heartbeat, though, something happens that changes everything for him. Now, he has one last chance for salvation, and it lies with June's eleven-year-old daughter, Claire. But between Shay and Claire stretches an ocean of bitter regrets, past crimes, and the rage of a mother who has lost her child. Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love? Would you want your dreams to come true if it meant granting your enemy's dying wish? Once again, Jodi Picoult mesmerizes and enthralls readers with this story of redemption, justice, and love.

Live from Death Row


Author: Mumia Abu-Jamal
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0380727668
Category: Social Science
Page: 224
View: 6517

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Once a prominent radio reporter, Mumia Abu-Jamal is now in a Pennsylvania prison awaiting his state-sactioned execution. In 1982 he was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner after a trial many have criticized as profoundly biased. Live From Death Row is a collection of his prison writings--an impassioned yet unflinching account of the brutalities and humiliations of prison life. It is also a scathing indictment of racism and political bias in the American judicial system that is certain to fuel the controversy surrounding the death penalty and freedom of speech.