Long thought to be statistical anomalies in an otherwise sound justice system, wrongful convictions happen with frightening regularity through advances in technology and dogged investigation. Nonetheless, very few people understand just how they happen, and more importantly, the consequences. Now the groundbreaking anthology Anatomy of Innocence, edited by Laura Caldwell and Leslie S. Klinger, tells the incredible true stories of over a dozen innocent men and women who were convicted of serious crimes and cast into the maw of a vast and deeply flawed American criminal justice system before eventually, miraculously being exonerated. Here, each “exoneree” is paired with a high-profile mystery and thriller writer (including Lee Child, Sara Paretsky, Laurie King, S.J. Rozan, Brad Parks and others) to produce a unique collaboration. By partnering master storytellers with exonerees and their incredible narratives, and with reflections from Barry Scheck and Scott Turow, two of the most learned lawyers and legal scholars in the world, Anatomy of Innocence presents the tragedy of wrongful convictions like never before. Learn more at www.anatomyofinnocence.com.
Proceeds from Anatomy of Innocence (Liveright, 2017) will benefit Life After Innocence.
To donate directly to Life After Innocence, click here and make sure to select Life After Innocence from the dropdown menu.
“A unique collection of 15 wrongful conviction sagas bound to shake faith in the American criminal justice system.” –Kirkus Reviews
“With these stories, the authors and editors provide a list of symptoms for an illness that is plaguing the justice system, bringing desperately needed awareness to the issues involved in wrongful convictions.” -Publishers Review
“Each story in Anatomy of Innocence is unique and compelling in its own right, but some common themes emerge. The living hell of prison. The loss of friends and family while incarcerated. The often fortuitous circumstances that lead to exoneration. But perhaps the most noteworthy is how often exonerees rejected bitterness and turned their focus toward the future and helping others.” -The Big Thrill
“Both the audience and I thought you were the perfect speaker: entertaining, eloquent, informative, humorous, self-effacing, intelligent. By sharing your early development as an author, you connected with the audience in a kind of ‘everywoman’ way; the audience, in turn, responded to your warm and humorous ‘trials and tribulations’ with affection. The story behind Jovan Mosley and the Life After Innocence program was riveting, and I’m sure the audience came away with a better idea of how the legal system works — and doesn’t. All in all, both your individual talk and later ‘panel’ with Michael Harvey couldn’t have been better. We at Willard were proud to host you and would love to have you back.”
“Her presentation was engaging, informative and thought-provoking — and was delivered with just the right amount of humor to keep us all entertained. She shared with us some of the many lessons of humanity and humility she’s learned from the unlikeliest sources — the wrongly convicted and imprisoned victims she’s helped after exoneration — and left us inspired to know that people who care can make a difference. If ever there’s another opportunity to hear her speak, I shall certainly take advantage of it.”
“Laura Caldwell served as the invited speaker for The University of Iowa Honors Convocation, as well as for our top-ranked Nonfiction Writing Program. Laura is absolutely captivating as a speaker. The students in our Honors Convocation Ceremony found her engaging and inspiring. She shared both passion and insight about the craft of writing with the UI Nonfiction MFA students. Laura infused her remarks with both humor and intelligence – two key elements to a great talk.”
“Laura Caldwell is a renaissance woman. She is an author, a lawyer, an educator, a lifesaver, a philanthropist and a motivational speaker. I have read all her mysteries. Her writing is clear and crisp. The characters are people that you would like to meet. You see their weaknesses and strengths. The storylines are interesting and keep you reading until you finish the book. You always want to know what happens next. The best part for a Chicagoan is the feeling of home. You know the places, the sights and the sounds that are mentioned in the stories. She was a speaker for the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. I wanted a fun, hip and happening person for our first social event of the summer. Laura filled the bill. Her journey is one that inspires us to do more. She spoke about her journey as an author, lawyer and lifesaver. Her experience kept everyone’s attention. The audience asked questions which for lawyers is pretty amazing and they left inspired, energized, and motivated. After hearing her story, I felt that the advertisement ‘Be like Mike’ should be changed to ‘Be like Laura.’ ”
“Smart. Sincere. Engaging. Passionate. These are just four words to describe Laura Caldwell and her presentation to 300 school administrators at our annual leadership conference.”