There is a grisly murder in your neighborhood. You stand outside with your neighbors and watch, or maybe you peek out your curtains. Hours pass, then days, maybe years. Then one day there is a knock at your door, and the police take you in for questioning. Do you remember what happened? Do you have an alibi? Can you take countless hours of interrogation without breaking?
This can happen to you. And it happens to more people than you think. Stories from The Fixer to The Shawshank Redemption have for decades catered to audiences' grim fascination with wrongful imprisonment - one's worst nightmare come to life.
In Stolen Years, the stories are true. The 10 former inmates profiled here fended off the blackest despair so they could keep fighting for freedom. Once out, they faced a new struggle: getting back to living after losing so many years behind bars. Intense, startling, and utterly compelling, Stolen Years will take listeners into the lives of the jailed innocent.
©2014 Reuven Fenton (P)2015 Tantor
"In this gripping book, Stolen Years, Reuven Fenton shows us the devastating consequences that arise when one is convicted for a crime he or she did not commit. These stories have happy endings. Sadly, most do not." (Dr. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter)
This book ripped my heart out and put it back together again. It is everyone's worst nightmare - being imprisoned for something you didn't do. These ten stories are raw and beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful. It's more than just about race or class, though many of those profiled here were poor and/or black. All of them found ways to cope with prison, whether keeping their heads down, fighting if necessary, or hiding themselves away with their legal case files. Much is made of what happened before the arrest; many of these individuals made their mistakes, were guilty of some crimes (just not the murders they were jailed for). Some found religion, others didn't. All were overwhelmed when they reentered the world outside, by how their family dynamics changed or the use of technology or all of the food that was available to them.
The author convincingly tells not only how things can go wrong - when a trial is about showmanship and the most persuasive orator "wins" at the expense of the truth - but where we can go from here.
Well-written, well-read, well worth your time, credit and action.
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