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Jovan grew up on the rough streets of Chicago's Southeast Side. With one brother dead of HIV complications, another in jail for arson and murder, and most kids his age in gangs, Jovan struggled to be different. Until his arrest, he was. He excelled in school, dreamed of being a lawyer, and had been accepted to Ohio State. Then on August 6, 1999, Jovan witnessed a fight that would result in a man's death. Six months later, he was arrested, cruelly questioned, and forced into a confession.
Sent to a holding jail for violent criminals, he tried ceaselessly to get a trial so he could argue his case. He studied what casework he could, rigorously questioning his public defenders. But time after time his case was shoved aside. Amiable, bright, and peaceable, he struggled to stay alive in prison. As the years ground on, he'd begun to lose hope when, by chance, he met Catharine O'Daniel, a successful criminal defense lawyer. Although nearly all cases with a signed confession result in a conviction, she was so moved by him, and so convinced of his innocence, that Cathy accepted Jovan as her first pro bono client. Cathy asked Laura Caldwell to join her and together they battled for Jovan's exoneration.
Here is Laura's firsthand account of their remarkable journey.This is a harrowing true story about justice, friendship, failure, and success. A breakdown of the justice system sent a nice kid to one of the nation's nastiest jails for nearly six years without a trial. It would take a triumph of human kindness, ingenuity, and legal jousting to give Jovan even a fighting chance.
Deeply affecting, Long Way Home is a remarkable story of how change can happen even in a flawed system and of how friendship can emanate from the most unexpected places.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By G Pigott on 03-04-13
Compelling and important
What made the experience of listening to Long Way Home the most enjoyable?
The story was compelling both in and of itself and as told by the author. The fact that it was non-fiction underscored the importance of the story. Jovan is portrayed in a very real and human way and his story is made all the more scary in how the system can fall down.
What does Laura Caldwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Laura as author and narrator brings a vibrancy to the story. Her relationship with the experience is conveyed subtly and does not overpower the story/narration but does suffuse it with a sense of her own point of view and urgency.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
By David Shear on 04-17-13
Look passed the flaws--It's a great story
This true story is so good. It's heart warming, suspenseful, and sobering. You can feel the love and respect that the author has for the main character and it makes you love him too. The store moves along nicely, it's easy to follow, it's a well told, good story.
With that said, be prepared for some flaws. The author is the narrator and the narration starts out just awful. She warms up and gets better, but the first couple chapters are almost unbearable. There are small errors too, she mispronounces a couple of key words and she usually talks about herself with "I" or "me" but will occasionally refer to herself as "Laura" which is confusing. Don't let the amateurish moments take away from this great story.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful