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Surviving Justice: America's Wrongfully Convicted and Exoneratedby Lola Vollen
Synopses & Reviews
On September 30, 2003, Calvin was declared innocent and set free from Angola State Prison, after serving 22 years for a crime he did not commit. Like many other exonerees, Calvin experienced a new world that was not open to him. Hitting the streets without housing, money, or a change of clothes, exonerees across America are released only to fend for themselves. In the tradition of Studs Terkel's oral histories, this book collects the voices and stories of the exonerees for whom life — inside and out — is forever framed by extraordinary injustice
Beverly Monroe spent seven years in prison for murdering her companion of thirteen years; even though he had killed himself. Christopher Ochoa was persuaded to confess to a rape and murder he did not commit, and served twelve years of his life sentence before being freed by DNA evidence. Michael Evans and Paul Terry each served twenty-seven years in prison for a rape and murder they did not commit. They were teenagers when they entered prison and middle-aged when DNA proved their innocence.
After spending years behind bars, hundreds of men and women with incontrovertible proof of their innocence have been released from Americas prisons. They were wrongfully convicted because of problems that plague many criminal proceedings—inept defense lawyers, overzealous prosecutors, deceitful interrogation tactics, misidentifications, and more. Finally free, usually after more than a decade of incarceration, the wrongly condemned re-enter society with nothing but scars from prison life only to struggle for survival on the outside.
The thirteen men and women portrayed here, and the hundreds of others who have been exonerated, are the tip of the iceberg. By all estimates, there are thousands of innocent victims in prison today. Surviving Justice tells their unimaginable and inspiring stories.
Collecting the voices and stories of the exonerees for whom life is forever framed by extraordinary injustice, this first title in the Voice of Witness Project series of oral narratives is a joint project between "McSweeney's" and the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
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