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Innocence

Every Writer Is Their Own Lawyer

William Kenower | Posted 01.27.2016 | Books
William Kenower

I interview writers of all genres for Author magazine and Author2Author. If I wanted to, however, I could devote an entire magazine to interviews with...

Making Murderers

Jason Flom | Posted 01.25.2016 | Politics
Jason Flom

The public outrage that has resulted from shows like Making a Murderer will be remembered as the tipping point when we finally decided to take seriously the need to fix the system. Change will only happen when we demand it. How many more innocent lives will be ruined before we do?

Our Judicial System: Ignoring Injustice or Colluding in It?

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 01.18.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Prosecutors have the power to prevent almost all wrongful convictions by seeking the truth, not just a conviction. If the pursuit of justice were the only goal, innocent men and women would not find themselves collateral casualties.

An Interview with Lava Records CEO, Jason Flom

Dr. Sharon Ufberg | Posted 01.20.2016 | Impact
Dr. Sharon Ufberg

We met by chance at the opening reception for Live in the Vineyard, a twice-yearly music, food and wine event that was happening in my part of the world--Napa Valley.

Making an Accomplice: Why "Making a Murderer's" Brendan Dassey Deserves a Re-Trial--Even if His Uncle Doesn't

Michael Shammas | Posted 01.12.2016 | Crime
Michael Shammas

Like his uncle, Brendan may be guilty. Unlike his uncle, his conviction rests entirely on the coerced confession of a frightened, mentally-challenged boy badgered by grown men wielding badges and guns and uniforms and loud, firm voices.

Practical Spirituality: What Makes You Happy?

Sai Santosh Bangalore | Posted 01.11.2016 | GPS for the Soul
Sai Santosh Bangalore

We asked a group of children from an economically-challenged background an interesting question: "What makes you happy?" Most of these children walk t...

When My Cute Black Kid Becomes What You Fear Most

The Establishment | Posted 01.09.2016 | Black Voices
The Establishment

Today, my kids are deemed "golden" and "adorable" and "sweet" because they look the way society has decided children should look. In a few years, as they grow into black young adults and men, that same line of superficial reasoning will mark them as dangerous.

The Catharsis of Star Wars

RJ Martin | Posted 12.30.2015 | Entertainment
RJ Martin

Now, I am not too much of a sci-fi geek. I don't speak Klingon, never watched Battlestar Galactica in any of its iterations, and by the third Alien movie I started rooting for the slobbery beast with too sets of teeth: anything to get Sigourney Weaver to stop scowling. Star Wars is different.

Top Five Holiday Wishes for People in Prison

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 12.17.2015 | Crime
Jessica S. Henry

As I celebrate the holiday season surrounded by loving family and friends, my thoughts turn to the millions of incarcerated men and women surrounded by cold steel prison bars. In the holiday spirit of compassion, and with an ever-present eye toward public safety and correctional reform, I have compiled a list of my top five wishes for the incarcerated.

Where Did the Stork Go?

Kristie Stumpf Rork | Posted 11.30.2015 | Parents
Kristie Stumpf Rork

Today, it seems that nothing is secret; nothing is private. We are a world obsessed with "reality." My four-year old didn't need me to tell her that a baby came from her vagina. She was educated by the "real" world.

Ending Wrongful Convictions: No Room for Error

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 10.23.2015 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

The record number of exonerations of innocent prisoners last year shows that something is very wrong with our judicial system. If the saying "the proof is in the numbers" is true, then why is this system moving at a snail's pace to combat the causes of wrongful convictions?

The Collision of Chaos and Beauty: A Call to Action

Padma Gordon | Posted 10.14.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Padma Gordon

Today I sit and wonder what is going on in this world, as healers and heroes are being murdered in cold blood? What does it mean about humanity wh...

Too Much Doubt

Erwin Chemerinsky | Posted 09.28.2015 | Politics
Erwin Chemerinsky

No one should be executed when there is serious doubt about the person's guilt. The problem is that the Supreme Court has imposed too difficult a standard.

How to Restore Faith in Our Broken Judicial System

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 09.16.2015 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Many people are responsible for securing wrongful convictions. Consider last year's record-breaking number of exonerations -- 125 in all. How many prosecutors, police officers, judges, or lawyers were fired for their participation in these 125 wrongful convictions? None.

The Simple Pleasures

Mary Widdicks | Posted 09.16.2015 | Parents
Mary Widdicks

I can't remember when it happened to me, but somewhere along the twisted line that is my life, I lost the ability to find enjoyment in the things I see everyday. I forgot how to see beauty in the plainer things and excitement in the mundane. I am truly a child of my generation: I need to be entertained.

Another Innocent Man About to Die?

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 09.16.2015 | Crime
Jessica S. Henry

If there is a chance that Richard Glossip is innocent, then why not give his attorneys a little more time to prove it? What possible societal benefit could ever occur from the state execution of an innocent man?

A Mother's End-Of-Summer Love Note

Jennifer S. White | Posted 08.26.2015 | Parents
Jennifer S. White

So much of my life has been this space between managing my reactions with the authenticity of internal need and awareness of this reaction upon others; coupled with the guilt after -- the guilt of either not reacting firmly enough for my own needs or, more often, being too harsh.

The Age of Cynicism

Joseph Grant | Posted 08.03.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Joseph Grant

The great Victorian author, Edith Wharton, wrote An Age of Innocence in order to evoke a bygone era. While the novel's title was misleading in some de...

Why Do Prosecutors Fight to Maintain Wrongful Convictions?

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 06.24.2015 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

When it comes to our criminal justice system, prosecutor and police misconduct remains the elephant in the courtroom. Sometimes it is spoken about, but rarely is any action taken.

How the Media Helps (and Hurts) Wrongfully Convicted Prisoners

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 06.12.2015 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

The media cannot continue to be selective in choosing which cases -- which innocent lives, that is -- to bring to the public's attention. We are talking about human beings, here, after all. Why do we have to spend 10, 15, 20, 25, or more years in prison before the mainstream media will break stories of our innocence?

Keeping the Death Penalty Alive: It's a Texas Thing

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 06.12.2015 | Crime
Jessica S. Henry

People like to say that the death penalty is for the "worst of the worst" offenders. But they are wrong. The death penalty depends on where people live. Particularly for the people who live in Texas.

Farewell to the School Playground

Gina Maier | Posted 06.09.2015 | Parents
Gina Maier

As the school year comes to a close, I find myself already mourning the imminent loss of one of my daily highlights: Pick up. What I will miss is the "theatre" that plays out for me within the microcosm that is my children's school playground.

An Authentic Hero Leaves The Stage

Joe Seldner | Posted 05.19.2015 | Fifty
Joe Seldner

Jim McCloskey, founder and head of the crusading group Centurion Ministries, the first organization dedicated to fighting for the wrongfully convicted, is the real deal.

Jimmy Dennis: A System Not Designed for Innocence

David A. Love | Posted 05.27.2015 | Black Voices
David A. Love

Jimmy Dennis' case reveals a great deal about a hopelessly broken system that administers the law, but does not necessarily dispense justice.

Another Innocent Black Man on Death Row

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 05.09.2015 | Crime
Jessica S. Henry

Rodney Reed should not become another Texas tragedy. Reed's death sentence - and nineteen long years of deprivation on death row -- is far too severe a penalty for a man who appears guilty of nothing more than taking part in a consensual interracial sexual relationship.