Nineteen-year-old Jovan Mosley, a good kid from one of Chicago's very bad neighborhoods, was coerced into confessing to a crime he didn't commit. Charged with murder, he spent five years and eight months in a prison for violent criminals. Without a trial.
Jovan grew up on the rough streets of Chicago's Southeast Side. With one brother dead of HIV complications, another in jail for arson and murder, and most kids his age in gangs, Jovan struggled to be different. Until his arrest, he was. He excelled in school, dreamed of being a lawyer, and had been accepted to Ohio State. Then on August 6, 1999, Jovan witnessed a fight that would result in a man's death. Six months later, he was arrested, cruelly questioned, and forced into a confession.
Sent to a holding jail for violent criminals, he tried ceaselessly to get a trial so he could argue his case. He studied what casework he could, rigorously questioning his public defenders. But time after time his case was shoved aside. Amiable, bright, and peaceable, he struggled to stay alive in prison. As the years ground on, he'd begun to lose hope when, by chance, he met Catharine O'Daniel, a successful criminal defense lawyer. Although nearly all cases with a signed confession result in a conviction, she was so moved by him, and so convinced of his innocence, that Cathy accepted Jovan as her first pro bono client. Cathy asked Laura Caldwell to join her and together they battled for Jovan's exoneration.
Here is Laura's firsthand account of their remarkable journey.This is a harrowing true story about justice, friendship, failure, and success. A breakdown of the justice system sent a nice kid to one of the nation's nastiest jails for nearly six years without a trial. It would take a triumph of human kindness, ingenuity, and legal jousting to give Jovan even a fighting chance.
Deeply affecting, Long Way Home is a remarkable story of how change can happen even in a flawed system and of how friendship can emanate from the most unexpected places.
©2010 Story Avenue LLC (P)2011 Story Avenue LLC
The story was compelling both in and of itself and as told by the author. The fact that it was non-fiction underscored the importance of the story. Jovan is portrayed in a very real and human way and his story is made all the more scary in how the system can fall down.
Laura as author and narrator brings a vibrancy to the story. Her relationship with the experience is conveyed subtly and does not overpower the story/narration but does suffuse it with a sense of her own point of view and urgency.
This true story is so good. It's heart warming, suspenseful, and sobering. You can feel the love and respect that the author has for the main character and it makes you love him too. The store moves along nicely, it's easy to follow, it's a well told, good story.
With that said, be prepared for some flaws. The author is the narrator and the narration starts out just awful. She warms up and gets better, but the first couple chapters are almost unbearable. There are small errors too, she mispronounces a couple of key words and she usually talks about herself with "I" or "me" but will occasionally refer to herself as "Laura" which is confusing. Don't let the amateurish moments take away from this great story.
A riveting story of what probably is a routine type case. Police looking for "numbers" do shoddy work and send an innocent young man to jail. The legal side of the story and efforts to exonerate him are a well-told-tale.
I work best when I have an excellent audio book & this one was riveting. It not only held my attention I just couldn't put it down. To my surprise Laura Caldwell did a great job with narration. Most authors just can't pull narration off Miss Caldwell nailed it.
Catharine O'Daniel the author did a great job illustrating Mrs. O'Daniel's energy, talent and drive for law
SIDE note to Miss Caldwell PLEASE PLEASE write a book about Catharine O'Daniel. I need to know what makes her tick. I will order it today!
I listened to this on audio, which I do not recommend. The author is the narrator and this is one example of why authors don't necessarily make good narrators. Despite being close to the events, the narration was monotone. Also, it's told from the author's perspective but there were some points where she was referred to in the third person. It may be clear in printed form that the point of view had changed, but it was not clear in audio.
That being said, the story was excellent! It is an interesting and heart wrenching story of what happened to Jovan: the glaring problems with the penal system in this case, information about false/forced confessions; and courtroom tactics. As someone who works in the area of civil rights, I am not surprised that these kinds of things still happen, but am appalled that they do. I am surprised that I had not heard of his story before; it seems like this should been plastered all over the court tv shows and internet. I feel awful for Jovan, his family and the family of Mr. Howard Thomas - none of this should ever have happened.
Listening once was good enough.
The unbelievable story of how bad the judicial system works in Chicago.
First I thought the narrator was all too unprofessional. But then I realized this was a true story and told by one of the participants. That made quite a difference and it was suddenly OK listening to the rather flat voice.
Don't believe innocence will save you!
I liked the book, but when I bought it a thought a bought a novel. I don't understand why it wasn't presented as a documentary.
I think this book would be best in hardcover. Laura Caldwell wrote an amazing story and succeeds to show all of us that a little kindness goes a long way. Unfortunately, Laura Caldwell has a drone-like tone with zero inflection. I found myself drifting and having to rewind. I had to concentrate very hard to keep my focus on the story.
"The true story of a young man's life cheated by the justice system "
It was very clear in the beginning how the legal system is very unfair. It is very sad what happened to Jovan Mosley, however, I feel that it could have been written in a different way to make us care more about the different characters involved.
I felt that she repeated herself several times and I found it annoying. Perhaps if it had been read by a different narrator than the author, I may have enjoyed it more. I feel that this would probably be much better viewed as a movie than read as a book.
The story is both horrifying and inspirational.
The endurance of the human spirit and the generosity of the two lawyers who worked pro bono on the case.
I mainly was caught up by the story, not the performance.
The whole story was moving and frequently had me close to tears.
This was a very hard book to listen to. Although it is a wonderful story it is hard to listen to the wrongs done to this young man. I would get so frustrated listening to the story I would almost come to tears.
The strength that Jovan was able to show throughout the story. He would get down but pull himself right back up.
The first couple chapters of the book was poorly written and took a very long time to grab my interest. But hang in there, it get better. I almost quit listening but stuck with it and so very glad I did. It is an excellent story and makes us even more aware of the wrongs done in our justice system. Corruption still exists and probably always will. A handful of very bad cops sadly reflects on all.
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