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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.

Related:
The Bounce
Life From Scratch
Glimpsing Heaven

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9 Responses to “STOLEN YEARS: Stories of the Wrongfully Imprisoned ~Reuven Fenton”

  1. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia … they were commenting on the innocent people hanged here recently – the last hanging was late 50s early 60s. I know you’ve had your fair share of those too – and then being locked away innocently for donkey’s years or life …

    Reuven Fenton deserves his recognition … and thanks for highlighting for us. I hope your move is over and successfully accomplished. Cheers Hilary

    Patricia Reply:

    Hilary,
    I think this is an important book and I hope it will get some good reads. We have so many people in our prisons and many are innocent at least 15% We are very backward in our punishment systems here – although now that we have a number of private prisons the 1% are making a lot of money off those prisoners…yikes what a cycle
    Patricia recently posted..STOLEN YEARS: Stories of the Wrongfully Imprisoned ~Reuven FentonMy Profile

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia — I know I wouldn’t be able to read this book because my heart would simply break from the injustice of it all. We do so many things right, yet we continue to do so many things wrong. Utterly wrong. We’re a people that don’t seem to learn from our mistakes. We have a shameful track record (prejudice, to name but one), yet we continue to make the same mistakes over, and over, and over…

    Patricia Reply:

    Laurie,
    This was hard to read and that it is predicted that 15% (probably more) folks in jail are not guilty is a hard number to wrap the head around too. We need a new system of punishment or corrections.

    Repeat, repeat, repeat = insanity
    Patricia recently posted..THE RAVEN ROOM: A Trilogy Mystery (Book 1) ~Ana MedeirosMy Profile

  3. Sam Juliano Says:

    This subject has always fascinated me, in book and film. It has also infuriated me, boiled my blood, and motivated me to get on my soap box on social media. This is primarily why I am a passionate opponent of the death penalty, and know well there have been innocents put to death all over the world. But I oppose capital punishment on moral grounds as well. Anyway this does sound like a fantastic read, and you have written a banner piece on it Patricia!

    Patricia Reply:

    Thanks for you kind words Sam – It was a hard book to read even though well written. I too am against the death penalty and our current form of incarceration (private prisons are the worst) So happy that these 10 folks found someone to re-open their cases and take an interest. Scary stories
    Patricia recently posted..THE RAVEN ROOM: A Trilogy Mystery (Book 1) ~Ana MedeirosMy Profile

  4. Heather J @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    Scary is a good word for this book … I cannot imagine the horror of what these people experienced.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    Patricia Reply:

    Welcome Heather J
    I think people need more folks looking into their case files and the police reports. Our country needs to do something different.

    These 10 had such a hard road back to being in society and getting back their lives – continued pain and suffering.
    Patricia recently posted..THE RAVEN ROOM: A Trilogy Mystery (Book 1) ~Ana MedeirosMy Profile

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