Regular price: $17.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

A nightmare from a thousand B-movies: A horrible crime is committed in your neighborhood, and the police knock on your door. A witness swears you are the perpetrator; you have no alibi, and no one believes your protestations of innocence. You're convicted, sentenced to hard time in maximum security, or even death row, where you await the executioner's needle.

Tragically, this is no movie script, but reality for hundreds of American citizens. Our criminal justice system is broken, and people from all walks of life have been destroyed by its failures. But science, and a group of incredibly dedicated crusaders are working to repair the damage.

In the last ten years, DNA testing has uncovered some stone-cold proof that 65 completely innocent people were sent to prison and death row. But the criminal justice system only frees prisoners in cases where there is physical evidence after a torturous legal process. Incredibly, according to many trial judges, "actual innocence" is not grounds for release from prison.

At the Innocence Project, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld have helped to free 37 wrongly-convicted people, and have taken up the cause of hundreds more. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Jim Dwyer has been covering innocence cases for a decade. In Actual Innocence, Scheck, Neufeld, and Dwyer relate the harrowing stories of ten innocent men - convicted by sloppy police work, corrupt prosecutors, jailhouse snitches, mistaken eyewitnesses, and other all-too-common flaws of the trial system - and tell of the heroic efforts to free them.

©2000 Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld, and Jim Dwyer (P)2000 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This may be the most important book on American criminal justice in a decade." (William Bernhardt, editor of Legal Briefs)
"[A] timely, troubling book...compelling." (New York Times Book Review)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hard To Believe

I found this book fascinating- though a little dated. It exposes the complete lack of justice in criminal justice system. The book focuses mostly on the 80's and 90's as DNA came into use.
What is shocking is how badly prosecutors behave and how juries convict on virtually no evidence. It is somewhat disturbing to hear how poorly our judicial system functions.
I think the book is worth your time.
You will be amazed by how little evidence is used to send someone to death row.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Manhattan Beach, CA, United States
  • 02-05-09

Great book, bad recording.

This is an excellent book that deals with important issues. The narration is quite good. IMPORTANT NOTE however, this audibook is recorded in format 2 (low fidelity) rather than the usual format 4. As a result, the sound is scratchy and weak, and this detracts from the experience.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Audio Distorted

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The audio was extremely distorted. At first I thought it was my iPod or headphones but music and another audio book sounded great.

Would you ever listen to anything by the authors again?

If the audio wasn't distorted.

Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Boatman’s performances?

If the audio wasn't distorted.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Actual Innocence?

I only listened to about 3/4 of the audio book. Maybe I'll try downloading it again and see if the audio is any better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible sound quality

Book is fine, the old-timey crackly radio effect makes it hard to listen to

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Story, Awful Audio!

The book was very good! It was very thought-provoking and, at times, very sad. Just hearing about some of the injustices in our country was very scary and disturbing. The audio, however, was horrible. I highly recommend this book but not the audio version. I tried to download the book a few times to see if it would fix the audio, but it didn't.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful