books

BOOKS 2013


Women Who Kill Men: California Courts, Gender, and the Press examines the role that gender played in the trials of women accused of murder in California between 1870-1958. The authors trace the changing views of the public towards women and how these views may have affected the outcomes of the cases. Some defendants faced the death penalty and were executed; some were spared. Often the public was deeply fascinated with all aspects of the trial and punishment. The book, written by Gordon Morris Bakken and Brenda Farrington, provides in-depth details of 18 murder trials through court records and news coverage.

 

 

A new book by Kathleen Cairns explores the intriguing story of Barbara Graham, who was executed for murder in California in 1955, and whose case became a touchstone in the ongoing debate over capital punishment. In Proof of Guilt: Barbara Graham and the Politics of Executing Women in America, Cairns examines how different narratives portrayed Graham, with prosecutors describing her as mysterious and seductive, while some of the media emphasized Graham’s abusive and lonely childhood. The book also describes how Graham’s case became crucial to the death-penalty abolitionists of the time, as questions of guilt were used to raise awareness of the arbitrary and capricious nature of the death penalty.Cairns is a lecturer in the Department of History at California Polytechnic State University.  She has also written The Enigma Woman: The Death Sentence of Nellie May Madison (Nebraska, 2007) and Hard Time at Tehachapi: California’s First Women’s Prison.

A new international manual covering psychiatric and psychological issues arising in capital cases has been prepared by a team of forensic psychiatrists for use by attorneys, judges, and mental health officials. The Handbook of Forensic Psychiatric Practice in Capital Cases sets out model structures for psychiatric assessment and report writing for every stage of a death penalty case, from pre-trial to execution. It also discusses ethical issues, particularly with regard to an inmate’s competence to be executed. The handbook is published by The Death Penalty Project (DPP) and Forensic Psychiatry Chambers, both based in England. It is available online or in print from DPP.A new international manual covering psychiatric and psychological issues arising in capital cases has been prepared by a team of forensic psychiatrists for use by attorneys, judges, and mental health officials. The Handbook of Forensic Psychiatric Practice in Capital Cases sets out model structures for psychiatric assessment and report writing for every stage of a death penalty case, from pre-trial to execution. It also discusses ethical issues, particularly with regard to an inmate’s competence to be executed. The handbook is published by The Death Penalty Project (DPP) and Forensic Psychiatry Chambers, both based in England. It is available online or in print from DPP.

The Michigan Committee Against Capital Punishment has published a collection of over 40 years of testimony, brochures, and other information by attorney and death-penalty expert Eugene Wanger. The collection begins with the resolution from Michigan‘s 1962 constitutional convention banning capital punishment in the state. It includes Wanger’s testimony at numerous hearings opposing bills attempting to reinstate the death penalty, as well as brochures and short articles. The bound and boxed volume provides a comprehensive overview of the history of death-penalty legislation in Michigan. Through legislation in 1846, the state became first English-speaking government to abolish the death penalty for murder and lesser crimes.

 

A forthcoming book, Fighting for Their Lives: Inside the Experience of Capital Defense Attorneys by Susannah Sheffer, explores the impact of the death penalty on defense attorneys with clients on death row. Through interviews with capital defenders, the author examines how attorneys try to cope with the stress of representing clients facing execution. Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, said, “This is an important book. The death penalty’s impact is so much broader than we realize, and these attorneys are affected in ways that even I had not imagined. I am grateful to Susannah Sheffer for bringing these stories to light.” Richard Burr, a prominent capital defense attorney, called the book “a beautiful, heartbreaking, and above all uplifting story that makes an essential contribution to literature on the death penalty.” The book is available through Amazon and other outlets.

A new book by Professor Robert Bohm of the University of Central Florida examines the personal impact of capital punishment on those involved in the criminal justice system, beyond the victim and perpetrator of the crime. Bohm listened to those involved in all steps of the judicial process, including investigators, jurors, and the execution team. He has probed the effects of the death penalty on the families of both the murder victim and the offender. The book, Capital Punishment’s Collateral Damage, includes testimonials from members of each group, “allowing the participants…to describe in their own words their role in the process and, especially, its effects on them.” Bohm concludes that this “collateral damage is another good argument for rethinking the wisdom of the ultimate sanction.”

 

A new book, “Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty,” offers a comprehensive discussion of Catholic teaching on capital punishment. It explores a wide range of issues related to the death penalty, including racism, mental illness, and economic disparities. The book is edited by Trudy Conway and David Matzko McCarthy, both professors at Mount St. Mary’s University, and Vicki Schieber–the mother of a murder victim. It includes a foreword by Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking. Joseph A. Fiorenza, Archbishop Emeritus of Galveston-Houston, said the book “is a treasure trove of information on the necessity and urgency to abolish an antiquated approach to capital crimes.”

BOOKS part3: news books 2012 Death row’s testimony – death penalty


A new book by Professor Robert Bohm of the University of Central Florida looks at death-penalty decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court prior to the modern era of capital punishment that began in 1968. In The Past As Prologue, Bohm examines 39 Court decisions, covering issues such as clemency, jury selection, coerced confessions, and effective representation. These early decisions have shaped modern rulings on capital punishment, and the book provides an analysis of these effects. In addition, the cases provide an historical perspective on prior death penalty practices. Bohm is a Professor of Criminal Justice and has published widely in this field and on capital punishment.

Survivor on Death Row, a new e-book co-authored by death row inmate Romell Broom and Clare Nonhebel, tells the story of Ohio‘s botched attempt to execute Broom by lethal injection in 2009. In September of that year, Broom was readied for execution and placed on the gurney, but the procedure was terminated after corrections officials spent over two hours attempting to find a suitable vein for the lethal injection. Broom was removed from the death chamber and has remained on death row ever since.  In the book, Broom discusses his troubled childhood and his life of over 25 years on death row, including his repeated requests for new DNA testing and a new legal team. Broom has always maintained his innocence.  Jon Snow, a reporter for Channel 4 News in England, called the book “A horrifying story embracing all the evils of the death penalty. Bad forensics, dodgy DNA, awful lawyers, render this a must-read.”

A new book by Larry Koch, Colin Wark and John Galliher discusses the status of the death penalty in the U.S. in light of recent legislative activity and court decisions. In The Death of the American Death Penalty, the authors examine the impact of factors such as economic conditions, public sentiment, the role of elites, the media, and population diversity on the death penalty debate. The book highlights the recent abolition decisions in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Illinois, and the surprising decline of the death penalty even in the deep South. James R. Acker, Distinguished Teaching Professor in Criminal Justice at the University at Albany, said, “Support for capital punishment in this country, as measured by the laws authorizing it, prosecutors’ enthusiasm for seeking it, jury verdicts that dispatch it, and executioners’ final deliverance, has eroded rapidly in recent years. A decade after the publication of its predecessor and carrying on in that volume’s fine tradition, The Death of the American Death Penalty provides detailed explanations—the where, how, and why—of these dramatic developments in death penalty laws and practices.”

A new book by Professor Harry M. Ward of the University of Richmond examines the death penalty in Virginia at a time when executions were carried out for all to see. In Public Executions in Richmond, Virginia: A History, 1782-1907, Ward provides a history of the hangings and, during the Civil War, firing-squad executions in Virginia’s capital city. Thousands of witnesses attended the executions, which were seen as a form of entertainment. Public executions ended with the introduction of the electric chair in 1908. In 1995, Virginia adopted lethal injection as its primary form of execution.

Long-time death penalty scholar Hugo Adam Bedau died on August 13, 2012 . Dr. Bedau had been the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, and is best known for his work on capital punishment. Dr. Bedau frequently testified about the death penalty before the U.S. Congress and many state legislatures. He authored several books about the death penalty, including The Death Penalty in America (1964; 4th edition, 1997), The Courts, the Constitution, and Capital Punishment (1977), Death is Different (1987), and Killing as Punishment (2004), and co-authored In Spite of Innocence (1992).  This last book, written with Prof. Michael Radelet of the University of Colorado and Constance Putnam (Dr. Bedau’s wife), contained one of the best early collections of people who had been wrongly convicted in death penalty cases. In 1997, Bedau received the August Vollmer Award of the American Society of Criminology, and in 2003 he received the Roger Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Massachusetts.  Dr. Bedau was a founding member of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

A new book by Professors Saundra Westervelt and Kimberly Cook looks at the lives of eighteen people who had been wrongfully sentenced to death and who were later freed from death row. In Life After Death Row: Exonerees’ Search for Community and Identity, the authors focus on three central areas affecting those who had to begin a new life after leaving years of severe confinement: the seeming invisibility of these individuals after their release; the complicity of the justice system in allowing that invisibility; and the need for each of them to confront their personal trauma. C. Ronald Huff, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, noted, “The authors skillfully conduct a journey inside the minds of exonerees, allowing readers to see the world from their unique perspectives.”

A new electronic book by former journalist Peter Rooney offers an in-depth look at the case of Joseph Burrowswho was exonerated fromIllinois’s death row in 1996. In Die Free: A True Story of Murder, Betrayal and Miscarried Justice, Rooney explains how Burrows was sentenced to death for the murder of William Dulin based on snitch testimony.  He was convicted primarily on the word of Gayle Potter, who recanted her testimony eight years later and admitted to committing the crime herself. According to one review, “Rooney makes it clear his book Die Free isn’t an argument against the death penalty, but simply another example of why such an extreme punishment should be re-evaluated. His points are made clearly and with merit as he details obvious evidence withholding by an over-aggressive district attorney, threats and intimidation of a borderline mentally challenged man, and the old school thoughts of little women versus big, burly men.”   Rooney is a former staff writer for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and is currently the director of public affairs at Amherst College.  Joe Burrows died at age 56 in 2009.  This case, and similar exonerations, led to the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois in 2011. The book is available for electronic download on Amazon.com.

A new book by Clive Stafford Smith, a British lawyer who has defended death row inmates in the U.S., offers an in-depth view of capital punishment in America. In Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America, Stafford Smith examines the case of Kris Maharaj, a British citizen who was sentenced to death in Florida for a double murder, to expose problems in the justice system. The book reveals disturbing details of Maharaj’s case, including anomalies in the prosecution files–witnesses with exculpatory testimony who were never called, falsified and suppressed evidence, and reports that a witness to the shootings failed a lie detector test. Maharaj’s death sentence was later commuted to life without parole. Stafford Smith is the Legal Director of Reprieve, which provides legal assistance in death penalty cases. In 2005 he received the Gandhi International Peace Award.  He was a founder of the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center, defending death row inmates in that state.

 American Bar Association recently published The State of Criminal Justice 2012, an annual report that examines major issues, trends and significant changes in America’s criminal justice system. This publication serves as a valuable resource for academics, students, and policy-makers in the area of criminal justice, and contains 24 chapters focusing on specific areas of the criminal justice field. The chapter devoted to capital punishment was written by Ronald Tabak, special counsel and pro bono coordinator at Skadden Arps. Tabak addresses the decline in the use of the death penalty, the geographic, racial and economic disparities in implementing capital punishment, important Supreme Court decisions, and other issues such as the continuing risk of wrongful executions. In concluding, he writes, “Ultimately, our society must decide whether to continue with a system that has been found in study after study, and has been recognized by a growing number of leading judges, to be far more expensive than the actual alternative – in which life without parole is the most serious punishment. In view of the lack of persuasive evidence of societal benefits from capital punishment, this is one ineffectual, wasteful government program whose elimination deserves serious consideration.”

Books part. 2 : Death row’s memoir and experiences


Truth Be Told: Life Lessons From Death Row

Features correspondence between Agnes Vadas and Richard Nields, who is on death row in Ohio. The book contains letters exchanged between the two over six years. They discuss a wide range of topics, including life on death row, how they have coped with challenges in life, and the lessons they have learned from hardship. Agnes Vadas is a musician and human rights activist from Washington. (AuthorHouse, 2005).


Waiting to Die: Life on Death Row by Richard M. Rossi

Provides a first-hand account of his daily life on Arizona’s death row. Rossi was sentenced to death in 1983 and has taken responsibility for the murder he committed. He was originally offered a plea bargain with a life sentence, but he decided to go to trial. He has been on death row for 20 years. In his book, Rossi details how prisoners survive on death row, the conditions under which they live, and the psychological toll that living under a sentence of death takes on prisoners. He also provides a straightforward account of prison policies regulating all aspects of daily life. (Vision Paperbacks, 2004)


Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA by Tim Junkin

Junkin recounts the events that led first to the conviction and death sentence, and then to the freeing of Kirk Bloodsworth for the murder of a nine-year-old girl in Maryland. Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking describes the book as “Chilling, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring.” Scott Turow says: “Bloodsworth is a tale of courage and determination in the face of the law’s worst nightmare–the execution of an innocent man.” Senator Patrick Leahy calls Bloodsworth “a powerful indictment of the a death penalty system that is fundamentally broken.” (Algonquin Books, 2004).


Still Surviving by Nanon Williams

In his book Still Surviving, Nanon Williams , who was 17 at the time of the crime that placed him on death row, provides a first hand account of living under a sentence of death in Texas. The book details Williams’s journey from teenage boy to adulthood while living in the shadow of the nation’s busiest execution chamber. His text introduces readers to the experiences of solitary confinement and having friends executed, as well as to maintaining relationships with those on the other side of the prison gate. (Breakout Publishing Co., 2003)- Case Profile

Killing TimeKilling Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal by Dave Lindorff

Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamalauthored by Dave Lindorff, examines Abu-Jamal’s capital conviction. It also includes an opening insert about his Batson claim that black jurors were purposefully excluded from the jury that sent him to death row. (Common Courage Press, 2003)


Life on Death Row by Robert W. Murray

A first-person account of living under a death sentence in Arizona, the book explores how inmates cope with execution warrants, lethal injection, prison politics, and day-to-day life in a supermax prison facility

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Poetic Justice: Reflections on the Big House, the Death House and the American Way of Justice by Professor Robert Johnson

Johnson’s first collection of poems about prison and capital punishment, exploring the day-to-day life of prisoners and examines the emotional impact of serving time on death row. Johnson, a professor of justice, law and society at American University, is an award-winning author of several social science books on crime and punishment and has won the Outstanding Book Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. (Northwoods Press, 2003)

Kiss of Death: America’s Love Affair with the Death Penalty by John Bessler

Attorney John Bessler presents arguments against capital punishment based on his work as a pro bono attorney for death row inmates in Texas. Woven into Bessler’s personal account is an examination of U.S. capital punishment practices in contrast to the absence of the death penalty in other nations. The book also addresses the toll executions take on those who participate in the process. (Northeastern University Press, 2003)

The Execution of a Serial Killer: One Man’s Experience Witnessing the Death Penalty by Dr. Joseph Diaz, Ph.D.

The Execution of a Serial Killer: One Man’s Experience Witnessing the Death Penalty  details the experiences of author Dr. Joseph Diaz, Ph.D., a criminologist who witnessed the execution of Florida death row inmate Edward Castro in December, 2000. In the book, Diaz explores not only Castro’s criminality, but also Diaz’s own reservations about executions. The book challenges readers to ask themselves if they, too, could witness an execution. (Poncha Press, 2002)

Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain by Rev. Carroll Pickett

Pickett recalls his 15 years as chaplain to death row inmates in Huntsville, Texas, and provides an account of ministering to 95 men in their final hours before execution. Rev. Pickett examines the death penalty based on his professional and personal experiences in Texas. “Like so many Texans, I was raised in an atmosphere that insisted the only real justice was that which claimed an eye for an eye. I was wrong,” he said. “As I participated in the endless process that would earn my state infamous recognition for its death penalty stance, I found myself wondering just what we were accomplishing.” (St. Martin’s Press, 2002)

A Life in the Balance: The Billy Wayne Sinclair Story by Jodie and Billy Wayne Sinclair

A powerful, graphic and disturbing prison memoir from a former death row inmate who has spent 35 years in Louisiana’s prison system. This book exposes the arbitrariness and violence of extreme punishment, and yet also tells the story of a person’s ability to change. (Arcade Publishing 2001)

A Dream of the Tattered Man: Stories From Georgia’s Death Row by Randolph Loney

In this book, Loney writes about the impact that his 15 years as pastor, family liaison and witness to the executions of the condemned men on Georgia’s death row has had on him. In each of the chapters, Loney reveals the lessons he has learned from these men and expresses his refusal to dismiss them as people beyond redemption. (William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001)

Condemned: Inside the Sing Sing Death House by Scott Christianson

Based on archival materials from New York’s legendary prison, includes photos of inmates and documents of their last months at Sing Sing’s death house. Anthony Amsterdam, Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, calls the book “A haunting experience. Combining the clinical virtuosity of an exhumation with the fascination of an archeological dig, it delivers a powerful intellectual message about the death penalty.” (News Release, 12/20/99) (New York University Press, 2000)

Finding Life on Death Row: Profiles of Six Inmates by Katya Lezin

A new book offers profiles of six convicted murders, two of whom have been executed. The profiles provide insight into the lives, crimes, and families of six men and women on death row. Lezin shows how an array of factors can lead people to commit capital crimes and how their poor treatment within our justice system leads them to death row. The cases profiled reveal how the inherently flawed death penalty is most often imposed not on the worst criminals, but on those who are most vulnerable and least able to defend themselves in our criminal justice system. (Northeastern University Press, 1999)

Death Work: A Study of the Modern Execution Process by Prof. Robert Johnson

This superb book takes the reader inside the execution process and accurately conveys the significance of state killing. The chapters on the history of the death penalty are among the most-detailed sources available and help crystallize the motivations behind the use of the death penalty.  American University, (2d edition)

Live From Death Row by Mumia Abu Jamal

Plough Publishing



BOOKS : Death Row’s memoir and experiences – part I


Author Thomas Cahill has written a new book, “A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green,” about his encounter and gradual understanding of the life of a Texas death row inmate named Dominique Green.  Green, who was only 18 at the time of his arrest, was executed in 2004.  Cahill’s story of Green’s life highlights issues of race, poverty, and abuse, tracing details of his childhood through his years on death row.  Thomas Cahill is probably best known for his New York Times bestseller “How the Irish Saved Civilization.” This newest book will be published by Doubleday and will be released in March 2009.

“A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green,” Doubleday Publishing, 2009)

Lethal Rejection: Stories on Crime and Punishment, edited and written in part by American University criminologist Robert Johnson and student Sonia Tabriz, features an array of fiction and poetry on crime and punishment written by prisoners, academics, and students of criminology.  The book includes a number of stories about capital punishment.  Jocelyn Pollock, Professor of Criminal Justice at Texas State University, writes in the preface, “[H]umans have always used fiction to instruct, enlighten and communicate.  Stories take us to places we haven’t been; they help us to understand people who are not like us. In this book, the authors use fiction to convey the reality of prison.”  She describes the book’s poetry, prose and plays as methods to “take the reader into the ‘reality’ of prison and the justice system–not through facts and figures, but through the tears and screams, blood and pain of the people chewed up by it.”  Todd Clear, a Professor of Criminal Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, writes, “The book makes us encounter the lives of the confined in a way I have not experienced in any other book about prison life.”

“That Bird Has My Wings” is a new book by Jarvis Jay Masters, an inmate on San Quentin’s death row in California. In this memoir, Masters tells his story from an early life with his heron-addicted mother to an abusive foster home. He describes his escape to the illusory freedom of the streets and through lonely nights spent in bus stations and juvenile homes, and finally to life inside the walls of San Quentin Prison. Using the nub and filler from a ballpoint pen (the only writing instrument allowed him in solitary confinement), Masters chronicles the story of a bright boy who turned to a life of crime, and of a penitent man who embraces Buddhism to find hope.  Masters has written this story as a cautionary tale for anyone who might be tempted to follow in his footsteps, and as a plea for understanding about the forgotten members of society. (From publisher’s description).

Renowned death penalty defense attorney Andrea Lyon‘s forthcoming book, Angel of Death Row: My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer, chronicles her 30 years of experience representing clients in capital murder cases.  In all of the 19 cases where she represented defendants who were found guilty of capital murder, jurors spared her clients’ lives.   Lyon, who was featured in the PBS documentary Race to Execution and was called the “angel of death row” by the Chicago Tribune, gives readers an inside look at what motivates her during these difficult cases and offers behind-the-scene glimpses into many dramatic courtroom battles. Lyon is the founder of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases based in Illinois and a professor of law at DePaul University College of Law.  The book includes a foreword by Alan Dershowitz, who calls Lyon “a storyteller par excellence.”

I Shall Not Die by Billy Neal Moore

In his memoir, former death row inmate Billy Neal Moore describes his time on death row, leading up to the 7 hours before his scheduled execution. Admittedly guilty of murder, Moore spent over 16 years on death row before his death sentence was overturned. He was subsequently freed because of his exemplary behavior. Moore’s account details how he asked for and received forgiveness from the victim’s family. His story is also described in the film “Execution.

Last Words from Death Row: The Wall Unit by Norma Herrera

In Last Words From Death Row: The Walls Unit, Norma Herrera recounts the tribulations she and her family suffered as they worked to free her brother, Leonel, from death row in Texas. The book documents court events and press coverage of the case and captures the family’s efforts to assist Leonel prior to his execution in 1993, four months after the U.S. Supreme Court held in Herrera v. Collins that, in the absence of other constitutional violations, new evidence of innocence is no reason for federal courts to order a new trial. Last Words from Death Row reveals that Leonel was a decorated war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder when he was sentenced to death for the murder of two police officers. He was nearly beaten to death after his arrest for the crime. He was quickly sentenced to death by a jury that largely consisted of local police department employees or those closely associated with them. As they fought to prove their client’s innocence, Leonel’s appellate attorneys introduced eyewitness evidence that Leonel’s brother had actually committed the crime and that local police officials were part of an effort to hide the truth. One of Leonel’s attorneys, Robert McGlasson, noted, “Indeed, never in my almost ten years of death penalty practice had I seen such extraordinary evidence demonstrating not just my client’s innocence, but the extreme degree of government involvement in deceit and criminal involvement.” In her book, Norma Herrera fulfills her brother’s final wish before his execution. He asked her to tell his story. He later proclaimed to the witnesses at his execution: “I am innocent, innocent, innocent. I am an innocent man, and something very wrong is taking place tonight.” (Nightengale Press, 2007).

Charles D. Flores details his personal experience as an inmate on Texas’ death row. The book, Warrior Within: Inside Report on Texas Death Row, provides a first-hand account of Flores’ death penalty trial and his experiences awaiting execution. It explores his quest to learn more about the law as he fights to prove his innocence and win his freedom. In the book, Flores writes, “I started to comprehend what it meant to be on death row. I was beginning to understand it was a race against the clock, the most important race, I’d ever run. That understanding came at a terrible price, a price I pay daily. It’s paid in the form of the anxiety attacks that come from nowhere that I have today. It’s paid in nightmares that wake me up in a cold sweat, shaking my head trying to knock the haunting images out of it, nightmares of living my last day on death row, being taken to Huntsville and being put in the holding cell next to the death chamber, drowning on fear, choking on terror, as I wait for them to execute me.”

Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir by Stanley Tookie Williams

A first-hand account of Williams’ personal journey from co-founding the notorious Crips gang to becoming a reformed prisoner and activist for youth from behind bars on California’s death row. The book, which has an epilogue by Barbara Becnel and a foreward by Tavis Smiley, details how Williams became a powerful anti-gang activist during the two decades he spent on death row prior to his December 2005 execution. Williams’ book openly discusses the life of drugs and violence that led to the formation of the Crips, and then offers an inside look into his personal transformation: “Black Redemption depicts the stages of my redemptive awakening during my more than twenty-three years of imprisonment. . . . I hope it will connect the reader to a deeper awareness of a social epidemic,” Williams wrote after finishing the book. (Touchstone Books, 2007).

by American University Criminology Professor Robert Johnson, including one book of satire and a second book of short stories co-authored with prisoner Victor Hassine and criminologist Ania Dobrzanska, address life in prison and on death row in the United States. Johnson’s first book of satire,Justice Follies, offers a collection of parodies that seek to highlight a host of problems within the American prison system. “This book made me laugh out loud. It is outrageous… and the most outrageous thing about it is its ring of truth,” notes Todd Clear, a Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University in New York. (Willo Trees Press, 2005). The Crying Wall, a work by Johnson, Hassine and Dobrzanska, is a collection of short stories that offer readers a look inside the workings of correctional facilities and the realities of day-to-day living in prison. The book’s fifteen fictional pieces capture the emotions of those who are incarcerated.

more coming.. thx