Dave Eggers and James Newsomeread and discussSurviving JusticeMonday, January 23rd, 12:00 PMFREE
McSweeney?s is proud to release the first in a new series of oral histories books, Surviving Justice: America\’s Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated, edited by Dave Eggers and Lola Vollen. After spending years behind bars, hundreds of men and women with incontrovertible proof of their innocence — including 120 from death row — have been released from America\’s prisons. They were wrongfully convicted because of problems that plague many criminal proceedings — inept defense lawyers, overzealous prosecutors, deceitful and coercive interrogation tactics, bad science, snitches, and eyewitness misidentification. The lives of these victims of the U.S. criminal justice system were effectively wrecked. Finally free, usually after more than a decade of incarceration, they re-enter society with nothing but the scars from a harrowing descent into prison only to struggle to survive 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. There are countless others — thousands by all estimates — who are in prison today for crimes they did not commit. These are the stories of some of the wrongfully convicted, who have managed, often by sheer luck, to prove their innocence. Their stories are spellbinding, heartbreaking, unimaginable, and ultimately inspiring. After reading these deeply personal accounts, you will never look at the criminal justice system the same way.
Featured Readers at this event:
Dave Eggers is the editor of McSweeney?s and the author of three books, including How We Are Hungry and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the winner of the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a journalist, his work has appeared in the The New Yorker, the New York Times, Esquire, the UK Guardian, and other publications.
James Newsome?exoneree–was living on the South Side of Chicago when a white grocer was shot to death in a convenience store. Officers from the notoriously corrupt Area 2 police station made Newsome their prime suspect. Eyewitnesses misidentified him in a police lineup, and an all-white jury sentenced him to life. He served fifteen years before being exonerated by fingerprints lifted from the crime scene and matched to an already incarcerated career criminal. After his release, Newsome won a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the City of Chicago. He now owns a shoe store there??Heelz.?