STOLEN YEARS: Stories of the Wrongfully Imprisoned ~Reuven Fenton
10 well researched stories about real people who have been incarcerated for many years when they were innocent of the crime and how they found a way to be released and regain their own lives. It is estimated that 5% of all the prisoners in the USA have been incarcerated and are actually innocent!
Fenton is a journalist who became very interested in this dilemma and continued his research until he had enough material for publishing this book. The 8 men and 2 women whose stories are shared in the book spent between 12 and 30 years of their lives serving time in penitentiaries for crimes they did not commit. They were found guilty and it took them years and years to be exonerated and their names cleared. Most lost a great deal in the process, including their children, their jobs, their homes, and their families. Several have successfully sued and recovered some assets, but most have lost more than could ever be recovered.
How to find someone to believe in your case and in the individuals has been a major obstacle. Absolutely every inmate says they are NOT GUILTY! Many of the victims do not know their rights and the INNOSCENCE PROJECTS in various states were highlighted in their work and efforts on behalf of these human beings. It still takes an interested person to pursue the process for the prisoners and assist them in being recognized and their cases reviewed. It is a slow and painstaking process.
“Prosecutors need to say, “I will not judge you on your wins and losses. I will judge you on the quality of the justice you dispense.”’ (From the conclusion section of the book)
From the Author – 5 Most Common Causes of Wrongful Convictions:
- False Confessions
- Eye witness mis-identifications
- Improper forensic science
- False Accusations
- Government misconduct
The stories in the book were scary to read and yet made me very sad; each victim had a fairly happy ending to their ordeal and yet how easily it happened, how long it took to be released and find recovery was overwhelming. Could you be that brave? Would you know what to do to find freedom? What the people had to endure while incarcerated was horrendous. Prisons are not the answer for anyone.
We need to teach our young more about how the system operates and what are the consequences, because not knowing one’s rights is definitely a problem if one is wrongly accused and does not have resources to defend yourself it becomes very serious. Our society is quick to blame.
I believe a number of people could benefit from reading this book and we could start making some changes that would reduce the incidence of incarceration.
About the Author:
Reuven Fenton has been covering murder and scandal for the NEW YORK POST since 2007 and has earned national recognition for his exclusive reporting on a myriad of national stories. He is a graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism. He lives in NYC with his wife and 2 sons.
TLC Book Tours sent me a PDF copy of this book for review.