Synopses & Reviews
Execution's Doorstep tells the true stories of five lives trapped in a living nightmare: sentenced to die for a crime they didn't commit. Since capital punishment was reinstated in the mid-1970s, over 120 individuals have been proven wholly innocent of the crimes for which they were sentenced to death. But this statistic, as horrifying as it is, does not begin to tell the whole story. Leslie Lytle confronts the human suffering behind these miscarriages of justice in her effort to reveal how and why they occurred. Drawing on extensive interviews and archival research, Lytle guides the reader through the fateful crimes, the arrests, the trials, the incarcerations, the struggles to prove innocence, and the difficult readjustments to life in the free world. Execution's Doorstep is more than a gripping human-interest story. As Lytle shows, the criminal justice and capital punishment systems that we have established to protect us are fallible and subject to the same incompetencies, petty corruptions, and politicizations to which all human institutions are prone. As we relive these heart-rending stories of innocents damned, this book poses a simple question: can we trust the life and death of any man to a system run by men?
"Journalist Lytle brings the capital punishment debate into sharp focus with her account of five men wrongly convicted and sentenced to death but later freed. The men, Lytle shows, were victims of false testimony and police coercion, among other ills of the justice system, and served up to 17 years in prison much of it on death row. Michael Graham remained on death row for 14 years for the murder of en elderly couple before the key witness admitted fabricating her testimony. Madison Hobley, beaten and coerced into confessing to a deadly arson, spent 13 years on death row before he was pardoned. Randal Padgett, accused of raping and murdering his wife, was imprisoned for five and a half years three and a half on death row before he was granted a new trial and acquitted. Drawing on court documents and extensive interviews with the death row survivors, Lytle shines light on the often overlooked hardships these men face in returning to society after spending years in a six-by-nine-foot cell." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The stories of five men unfairly condemned to death