Author: Brian W. Stolarz
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2016-10-04
A Washington Post bestseller! A chilling and compassionate look at how close an innocent man was to being put death with a foreword by Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking. What is worse than having a client on Death Row in Texas? Having a client on Death Row in Texas who is innocent and not knowing if you will be able to stop his execution in time. Grace and Justice on Death Row: A Race Against Time to Free an Innocent Man tells the story of Alfred Dewayne Brown, a man who spent over twelve years in prison (ten of them on Texas’ infamous Death Row) for a high-profile crime he did not commit, and his lawyer, Brian Stolarz, who dedicated his career and life to secure his freedom. The book chronicles Brown’s extraordinary journey to freedom against very long odds, overcoming unscrupulous prosecutors, corrupt police, inadequate defense counsel, and a broken criminal justice system. The book examines how a lawyer-client relationship turned into one of brotherhood. Grace And Justice On Death Row also addresses many issues facing the criminal justice system and the death penalty – race, class, adequate defense counsel, and intellectual disability, and proposes reforms. Told from Stolarz’s perspective, this raw, fast-paced look into what it took to save one man’s life will leave you questioning the criminal justice system in this country. It is a story of injustice and redemption that must be told.
Author: John Hollway
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2013-06-01
Genre: True Crime
In 1984, John Thompson was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a white man in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was sent to Angola prison and confined to his cell twenty-three hours a day. However, Thompson adamantly proclaimed his innocence and just needed lawyers who believed that his trial had been mishandled and who would step up to the plate against the powerful DA's office. But who would fight for Thompson's innocence when he didn't have an alibi for the night of the murder and there were two key witnesses to confirm his guilt? Killing Time is about the eighteen-year quest for John Thompson's freedom from a wrongful murder conviction. After Philadelphia lawyers Michael Banks and Gordon Cooney take on his case, they struggle to find areas of misconduct in his previous trials while grappling with their questions about Thompson's innocence. John Hollway and Ronald M. Gauthier have interviewed Thompson and the lawyers regarding the case and paint a realistic and compelling portrait of life on death row and the corruption in the Louisiana police and DA's office. When it is found that evidence was mishandled in a previous trial that led to his death sentence in the murder case, Thompson is finally on his road to freedom—a journey that continues to this day. Complete with an updated afterword describing Thompson's 2011 civil suit against Harry Connick Sr. and the New Orleans DA's office and the Supreme Court's shocking verdict.
#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
Now a New York Times bestseller The 2017 American Book Award Winner from the Before Columbus Foundation A Washington Post notable nonfiction book for 2016 A Goodreads Best of 2016 Nonfiction Finalist A Kobo Best Book of 2016 Includes an update from Rabia on Adnan's vacated murder conviction in summer 2016 Serial only told part of the story... In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig's investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State's case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys the cell phone evidence -- among many other points -- and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan's Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.
Jason Micheli, a young father, husband, and pastor, was diagnosed with a bone cancer so rare and deadly that his doctors didn’t classify it with one of the normal four stages—they simply called it “stage-serious.” As Micheli struggled with despair and faced his own mortality, he resolved that although cancer kills the body, it would not kill his spirit, faith, or sense of humor. Micheli knew that the promise of faith makes hope possible. And approaching cancer as fodder for some bowel-busting humor helps, too. His reflections are not trite. Instead, he writes honestly about being stricken with lethal cancer in the midst of a promising career and raising two young children. He struggles with his commitment to the God who, as he writes, may or may not be doing this to him. Because figuring this out for himself—not to mention explaining it to his congregation and his sons—is so important that theology is now a matter of life and death. This is a funny, no-holds-barred, irreverent-yet-faithful take on the disease that touches every family. Micheli’s story teaches us all how to stay human in dehumanizing situations—how to keep living in the face of death.
Author: David R. Dow
Release Date: 2014-01-07
Genre: Social Science
"Every life is different, but every death is the same. We live with others. We die alone." In his riveting, artfully written memoir The Autobiography of an Execution, David Dow enraptured readers with a searing and frank exploration of his work defending inmates on death row. But when Dow's father-in-law receives his own death sentence in the form of terminal cancer, and his gentle dog Winona suffers acute liver failure, the author is forced to reconcile with death in a far more personal way, both as a son and as a father. Told through the disparate lenses of the legal battles he's spent a career fighting, and the intimate confrontations with death each family faces at home, THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM DYING offers a poignant and lyrical account of how illness and loss can ravage a family. Full of grace and intelligence, Dow offers readers hope without cliché and reaffirms our basic human needs for acceptance and love by giving voice to the anguish we all face--as parents, as children, as partners, as friends--when our loved ones die tragically, and far too soon.
In this reasoned exploration of justice, retribution, and redemption, the champion of the new monastic movement, popular speaker, and author of the bestselling The Irresistible Revolution offers a powerful and persuasive appeal for the abolition of the death penalty. The Bible says an eye for an eye. But is the state’s taking of a life true—or even practical—punishment for convicted prisoners? In this thought-provoking work, Shane Claiborne explores the issue of the death penalty and the contrast between punitive justice and restorative justice, questioning our notions of fairness, revenge, and absolution. Using an historical lens to frame his argument, Claiborne draws on testimonials and examples from Scripture to show how the death penalty is not the ideal of justice that many believe. Not only is a life lost, so too, is the possibility of mercy and grace. In Executing Grace, he reminds us of the divine power of forgiveness, and evokes the fundamental truth of the Gospel—that no one, even a criminal, is beyond redemption.
When he went to bed on the night of September 6, 1988, seventeen-year-old Marty Tankleff was a typical kid in the upscale Long Island community of Belle Terre. He was looking forward to starting his senior year at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School the next day. But instead, Marty woke in the morning to find his parents brutally bludgeoned, their throats slashed. His mother, Arlene, was dead. His father, Seymour, was barely alive and would die a month later. With remarkable self-possession, Marty called 911 to summon help. And when homicide detective James McCready arrived on the scene an hour later, Marty told him he believed he knew who was responsible: Jerry Steuerman, his father’s business partner. Steuerman owed Seymour more than half a million dollars, had recently threatened him, and had been the last to leave a high-stakes poker game at the Tankleffs’ home the night before. However, McCready inexplicably dismissed Steuerman as a suspect. Instead, he fastened on Marty as the prime suspect–indeed, his only one. Before the day was out, the police announced that Marty had confessed to the crimes. But Marty insisted the confession was fabricated by the police. And a week later, Steuerman faked his own death and fled to California under an alias. Yet the police and prosecutors remained fixated on Marty–and two years later, he was convicted on murder charges and sentenced to fifty years in prison. But Marty’s unbelievable odyssey was just beginning. With the support of his family, he set out to prove his innocence and gain his freedom. For ten years, disappointment followed disappointment as appeals to state and federal courts were denied. Still, Marty never gave up. He persuaded Jay Salpeter, a retired NYPD detective turned private eye, to look into his case. At first it was just another job for Salpeter. As he dug into the evidence, though, he began to see signs of gross ineptitude or worse: Leads ignored. Conflicts of interest swept under the rug. A shocking betrayal of public trust by Suffolk County law enforcement that went well beyond a simple miscarriage of justice. After Salpeter’s discoveries brought national media attention to the case, Marty’s conviction was finally vacated in 2007, and New York’s governor appointed a special prosecutor to reopen the twenty-year-old case. At the same time, the State Investigation Commission announced an inquiry into Suffolk County’s handling of what has come to be widely viewed as one of America’s most disturbing wrongful conviction cases. As gripping as a Grisham novel, A Criminal Injustice is the story of an innocent man’s tenacious fight for freedom, an investigator’s dogged search for the truth. It is a searing indictment of justice in America. From the Hardcover edition.
Pirate lore has long captivated us and through the centuries it has worked its way into our literature, movies and popular culture. But many of these depictions and our understanding of the nature of the pirate are wrong. The Pirate Next Door takes what we think we know about pirates and turns it on its head by exploring the human side of pirates¿the wives, families and communities of the men who have long been considered outlaws and outcasts. It delves into the inner lives of pirates, focusing on their faiths, communal ties and great loves. Using newly discovered primary sources from the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries from archives in New England and London, this compelling story is told through the lives of four pirate captains who were active during the Golden Age of Piracy¿Samuel Bellamy of Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Paulsgrave Williams of Block Island, Rhode Island; William Kidd of New York and Samuel Burgess of New York. This book corrects long-held beliefs about pirate life and brings to light the strong women behind these men.
Author: Carol S. Steiker
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2016-11-07
Refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the U.S. has attempted to reform and rationalize capital punishment through federal constitutional law. While execution chambers remain active in several states, Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker argue that the fate of the American death penalty is likely to be sealed by this failed judicial experiment.
Author: Calvin Malone
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2008-10-10
Razor-Wire Dharma is an eloquent, enlightening, and utterly inspiring personal story how one man found Buddhism—and real, transformative meaning for his life—despite being in one of the world's harshest environments.
Author: Michael Morton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-07-08
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
“A devastating and infuriating book, more astonishing than any legal thriller by John Grisham” (The New York Times) about a young father who spent twenty-five years in prison for a crime he did not commit…and his eventual exoneration and return to life as a free man. On August 13, 1986, just one day after his thirty-second birthday, Michael Morton went to work at his usual time. By the end of the day, his wife Christine had been savagely bludgeoned to death in the couple’s bed—and the Williamson County Sherriff’s office in Texas wasted no time in pinning her murder on Michael, despite an absolute lack of physical evidence. Michael was swiftly sentenced to life in prison for a crime he had not committed. He mourned his wife from a prison cell. He lost all contact with their son. Life, as he knew it, was over. Drawing on his recollections, court transcripts, and more than 1,000 pages of personal journals he wrote in prison, Michael recounts the hidden police reports about an unidentified van parked near his house that were never pursued; the bandana with the killer’s DNA on it, that was never introduced in court; the call from a neighboring county reporting the attempted use of his wife’s credit card, which was never followed up on; and ultimately, how he battled his way through the darkness to become a free man once again. “Even for readers who may feel practically jaded about stories of injustice in Texas—even those who followed this case closely in the press—could do themselves a favor by picking up Michael Morton’s new memoir…It is extremely well-written [and] insightful” (The Austin Chronicle). Getting Life is an extraordinary story of unfathomable tragedy, grave injustice, and the strength and courage it takes to find forgiveness.