Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption

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One of the Best Books of 2017: National Public Radio, San Francisco Chronicle, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness
"Remarkable . . . Captivating . . . Rachlin is a skilled storyteller." --New York Times Book Review
"A gripping legal-thriller mystery . . . Profoundly elevates good-cause advocacy to greater heights--to where innocent lives are saved." --USA Today
"A crisply written page turner." --NPR
A gripping account of one man's long road to freedom that will forever change how we understand our criminal justice system

During the last three decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform.
When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission--unprecedented at its inception in 2006--remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations.
With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man's tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption.
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About the author

Benjamin Rachlin grew up in New Hampshire. He studied English at Bowdoin College, where he won the Sinkinson Prize, and writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he won Schwartz and Brauer fellowships. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in the New York Times Magazine, TIME, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. He lives near Boston. Ghost of the Innocent Man is his first book.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Little, Brown
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Published on
Aug 15, 2017
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780316311489
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Criminal Law / Sentencing
Political Science / Civil Rights
Political Science / Human Rights
Political Science / Law Enforcement
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
Social Science / Violence in Society
True Crime / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Successfully analyze crime at any level of law enforcement!

This book is a practical resource guide for the development of crime analysis in local law enforcement. The tragedy of September 11, 2001, has raised awareness on how crucial it is to analyze information and intelligence. Smaller agencies that cannot financially justify hiring a full-time analyst will find strategies and techniques to teach officers the methods of analysis. Introduction to Crime Analysis: Basic Resources for Criminal Justice Practice provides basic tools and step-by-step directions that will improve the skills and knowledge of new crime analysts.

From the editors: “Military strategists have used analysis for centuries; it makes sense to know as much as possible about the enemy and about the conditions and causes of a situation if we hope to institute any kind of significant change for the better. Career criminals are the enemies of a community's well being. Now that advances in information technology give us the means and methods to fully examine and find meaningful knowledge in the vast amounts of existing information on crimes and criminals, we have an obligation to use our technological strength to protect innocent people. Systematic crime analysis as a law enforcement and public safety asset has become not only possible, but also truly necessary as a weapon in the war against crime.”

Along with defining the various roles of the crime analyst, Introduction to Crime Analysis demonstrates how to: improve the personal skills necessary to make you a good crime analyst successfully work through the five stages—collection, collation, analysis, dissemination, and feedback and evaluation—of analysis select the appropriate crime mapping software for your agency evaluate the usefulness of your crime analysis products benefit from email discussion groups and professional associations create a crime analysis unit-including policies and procedures as well as marketing and funding This clearly written resource includes case studies, figures, and appendixes that will simplify the learning process. Links to Internet pages also offer resources and information beneficial to both new and experienced crime analysts. Introduction to Crime Analysis will benefit crime analysts, police officers, intelligence analysts, community groups focused on crime prevention, criminal justice students, and police departments and sheriff’s agencies.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time, as seen in the HBO documentary True Justice

“[Bryan Stevenson’s] dedication to fighting for justice and equality has inspired me and many others and made a lasting impact on our country.”—John Legend

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction • Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award • Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize • An American Library Association Notable Book

“Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books

“Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

“You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review

“Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”—The Washington Post

“As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times

“Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A renowned journalist and legal commentator exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis—and charts a way out.

“An important, thoughtful, and thorough examination of criminal justice in America that speaks directly to how we reduce mass incarceration.”—Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy

“This harrowing, often enraging book is a hopeful one, as well, profiling innovative new approaches and the frontline advocates who champion them.”—Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted

The American criminal justice system is supposed to be a contest between two equal adversaries, the prosecution and the defense, with judges ensuring a fair fight. That image of the law does not match the reality in the courtroom, however. Much of the time, it is prosecutors more than judges who control the outcome of a case, from choosing the charge to setting bail to determining the plea bargain. They often decide who goes free and who goes to prison, even who lives and who dies. In Charged, Emily Bazelon reveals how this kind of unchecked power is the underreported cause of enormous injustice—and the missing piece in the mass incarceration puzzle.

Charged follows the story of two young people caught up in the criminal justice system: Kevin, a twenty-year-old in Brooklyn who picked up his friend’s gun as the cops burst in and was charged with a serious violent felony, and Noura, a teenage girl in Memphis indicted for the murder of her mother. Bazelon tracks both cases—from arrest and charging to trial and sentencing—and, with her trademark blend of deeply reported narrative, legal analysis, and investigative journalism, illustrates just how criminal prosecutions can go wrong and, more important, why they don’t have to.

Bazelon also details the second chances they prosecutors can extend, if they choose, to Kevin and Noura and so many others. She follows a wave of reform-minded D.A.s who have been elected in some of our biggest cities, as well as in rural areas in every region of the country, put in office to do nothing less than reinvent how their job is done. If they succeed, they can point the country toward a different and profoundly better future.

“Bazelon, cogent and clear-eyed as ever, lays out a welcome double-barreled argument: A prosecutorial shift toward mercy and fairness is crucial to healing our busted criminal justice system, and it’s already happening.”—Sarah Koenig, host of Serial
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