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Surviving Justice

Author: Dave Eggers
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1786632233
Size: 45.90 MB
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Surviving Justice presents oral histories of thirteen people from all walks of life, who, through a combination of all-too-common factors—overzealous prosecutors, inept defense lawyers, coercive interrogation tactics, eyewitness misidentification— found themselves imprisoned for crimes that they did not commit. The stories these exonerated men and women tell are spellbinding, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring. These narrators include: Paul Terry, who spent twenty-seven years wrongfully imprisoned, and emerged psychologically devastated and barely able to communicate. Beverly Monroe, an organic chemist who was coerced into falsely confessing to the murder of her lover. Free after seven years, she faces the daunting task of rebuilding her life from the ground up. Joseph Amrine, who was sentenced to death for murder. Seventeen years later, when DNA evidence exonerated him, Amrine emerged from prison with nothing but the fourteen dollars in his inmate account.

Wrongly Convicted

Author: Saundra Davis Westervelt
Publisher: Rutgers Univ Pr
ISBN: 9780813529516
Size: 13.83 MB
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The American criminal justice system contains numerous safeguards to prevent the conviction of innocent persons. The Bill of Rights provides nineteen separate rights for the alleged criminal offender, including the right to effective legal representation and the right to be judged without regard to race or creed. Despite these safeguards, wrongful convictions persist, and the issue has reverberated in the national debate over capital punishment.The essays in this volume are written from a cross-disciplinary perspective by some of the most eminent lawyers, criminologists, and social scientists in the field today. The articles are divided into four sections: the causes of wrongful convictions, the social characteristics of the wrongly convicted, case studies and personal histories, and suggestions for changes in the criminal justice system to prevent wrongful convictions. Contributors examine a broad range of issues, including the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, particularly in cross-racial identifications; the disadvantages faced by racial and ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system; and the impact of new technologies, especially DNA evidence, in freeing the innocent and bringing the guilty to justice. The book also asks such questions as: What legal characteristics do wrongful convictions share? What are the mechanisms that defendants and their attorneys use to overturn wrongful convictions? The book also provides case studies that offer specific examples of what can and does go wrong in the criminal justice system.The contributors argue that the most important single characteristic among wrongful conviction cases is the chronic denial by politicians and prosecutorsof the existence of a problem and their failure to act decisively when evidence of a possible wrongful conviction comes to light.

Throwing Stones At The Moon

Author: Sibylla Brodzinsky
Publisher: McSweeney's
ISBN: 193636591X
Size: 42.59 MB
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For nearly five decades, Colombia has been embroiled in internal armed conflict among guerrilla groups, paramilitary militias, and the country’s own military. Civilians in Colombia have to make their lives despite the threat of torture, kidnapping, and large-scale massacres—and more than four million have had to flee their homes. The oral histories in Throwing Stones at the Moon describe the most widespread of Colombia’s human rights crises: forced displacement. Speakers recount life before displacement, the reasons for their flight, and their struggle to rebuild their lives. Among the narrators: JULIA, a hospital union leader whose fight against corruption led to a brutal attempt on her life. In 2009, assassins tracked her to her home and stabbed her seven times in the face and chest. Since the attack, Julia has undergone eight facial reconstructive surgeries, and continues to live in hiding. DANNY, who at eighteen joined a right-wing paramilitary’s enormous training camp in the Eastern Plains of Colombia. Initially lured by the promise of quick money, Danny soon realized his mistake and escaped to Ecuador. He describes his harrowing escape and his struggle to survive as a refugee with two young children to support.

The Voice Of Witness Reader

Author: Dave Eggers
Publisher: McSweeney's
ISBN: 1940450772
Size: 19.91 MB
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For ten years, Voice of Witness has illuminated contemporary human rights crises through its remarkable oral history book series. Founded by Dave Eggers, Lola Vollen and Mimi Lok, Voice of Witness has amplified the stories of hundreds of people impacted by some of the most crucial human rights crises of our time, including men and women living under oppressive regimes in Burma, Colombia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe; public housing residents and undocumented workers in the United States; and exploited workers around the globe. This selection of narratives from these remarkable men and women is many things: an astonishing record of human rights issues in the 21st century; a testament to the resilience and courage of the most marginalized among us; and an opportunity to better the understand the world we live in through human connection and a participatory vision of history.

Pruno Ramen And A Side Of Hope

Author: Courtney B. Lance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1618689258
Size: 30.86 MB
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Imagine you are in prison for a crime you did not commit. You cannot believe what has happened to you and you're certain the system will correct the error--yet years later you're still behind bars. In "Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope" those who have been wrongfully convicted tell stories of hope, redemption, and how they continued to believe that the system that put them behind bars would eventually find them innocent. Get a glimpse of life inside some of America's prisons and discover how each exoneree survived, and in some cases thrived and prevailed against overwhelming odds.

Voices From The Storm

Author: Lola Vollen
Publisher: McSweeney's
ISBN: 1940450926
Size: 16.15 MB
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Hurricane Katrina inflicted damage on a scale unprecedented in American history, nearly destroying a major city and killing thousands of its citizens. With far too little help from indifferent, incompetent government agencies, the poor bore the brunt of the disaster. The residents of traditionally impoverished and minority communities suffered incalculable losses and endured unimaginable conditions. And the few facilities that did exist to help victims quickly became miserable, dangerous places. Now, the victims of Hurricane Katrina find themselves spread across the United States, far from the homes they left and faced with the prospect of starting anew. Families are struggling to secure jobs, homes, schools, and a sense of place in unfamiliar surroundings. Meanwhile, the rebuilding of their former home remains frustrating out of their hands. This bracing read brings readers to the heart of the disaster and its aftermath as those who survived it speak with candor and eloquence of their lives then and now.

False Justice

Author: Jim Petro
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317667727
Size: 33.23 MB
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Compelling and engagingly written, this book by former Attorney General of Ohio Jim Petro and his wife, writer Nancy Petro, takes the reader inside actual cases, summarizes extensive research on the causes and consequences of wrongful conviction, and exposes eight common myths that inspire false confidence in the justice system and undermine reform. Now newly published in paperback with an extensive list of web links to wrongful conviction sources internationally, False Justice is ideal for use in a wide array of criminal justice and criminology courses. Myth 1: Everyone in prison claims innocence. Myth 2: Our system almost never convicts an innocent person. Myth 3: Only the guilty confess. Myth 4: Wrongful conviction is the result of innocent human error. Myth 5: An eyewitness is the best testimony. Myth 6: Conviction errors get corrected on appeal. Myth 7: It dishonors the victim to question a conviction. Myth 8: If the justice system has problems, the pros will fix them.

Nowhere To Be Home

Author: Maggie Lemere
Publisher: McSweeney's
ISBN: 1940450977
Size: 52.72 MB
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Decades of military oppression in Burma have led to the systematic destruction of thousands of ethnic minority villages, a standing army with one of the world’s highest number of child soldiers, and the displacement of millions of people. Nowhere to Be Home is an eye-opening collection of oral histories exposing the realities of life under military rule. In their own words, men and women from Burma describe their lives in the country that Human Rights Watch has called “the textbook example of a police state.”

Infinite Hope

Author: Anthony Graves
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807062529
Size: 79.82 MB
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"Written by a wrongfully convicted man who spent 16 years on death row and 12 years in solitary confinement, a powerful memoir about fighting for--and winning--exoneration. Infinite Hope is an argument against the death penalty through one man's personal story. It is about a man enduring a life on death row year after year, when he knows that he is one hundred percent innocent and that his exoneration is unlikely. Anthony Graves' unbelievable saga started in 1992 when, at 26 years old, he was arrested for killing six people in Somerville, Texas. Despite his air-tight alibi, his unwavering insistence that he had no knowledge of the crime, and a lack of physical evidence linking him to the scene, Graves was arrested, charged with capital murder, and eventually sentenced to death. He spent nearly two decades defending his innocence from behind bars. With the help of a hard-charging journalist, Graves' story of injustice and the astounding malfeasance he encountered at every turn was published in Texas Monthly. In 2011, eighteen years after his nightmare began, Graves was finally exonerated. The prosecutor in his case was later disbarred. Poignant and skillfully wrought, Graves writes about fighting for his dignity, trying to maintain his sanity, the excruciating reality of being innocent behind bars, and how he endured one setback after another as he and his lawyers chipped away at the state's case against him. Infinite Hope exposes an extreme version of when the judicial system is wrong and, as Graves describes it, "what people go through when they're treated as disposable.""--

Ghost Of The Innocent Man

Author: Benjamin Rachlin
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316311480
Size: 36.46 MB
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During the last two decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform. When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission-unprecedented at its inception in 2006-remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations. With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man's tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption.