Actual Innocence

  • by Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld, Jim Dwyer
  • Narrated by Michael Boatman
  • 5 hrs and 8 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A nightmare from a thousand B-movies: A horrible crime is committed in your neighborhood, and the police knock on your door. A witness swears you are the perpetrator; you have no alibi, and no one believes your protestations of innocence. You're convicted, sentenced to hard time in maximum security, or even death row, where you await the executioner's needle. Tragically, this is no movie script, but reality for hundreds of American citizens. Our criminal justice system is broken, and people from all walks of life have been destroyed by its failures. But science, and a group of incredibly dedicated crusaders are working to repair the damage. In the last ten years, DNA testing has uncovered some stone-cold proof that 65 completely innocent people were sent to prison and death row. But the criminal justice system only frees prisoners in cases where there is physical evidence after a torturous legal process. Incredibly, according to many trial judges, "actual innocence" is not grounds for release from prison. At the Innocence Project, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld have helped to free 37 wrongly-convicted people, and have taken up the cause of hundreds more. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Jim Dwyer has been covering innocence cases for a decade. In Actual Innocence, Scheck, Neufeld, and Dwyer relate the harrowing stories of ten innocent men - convicted by sloppy police work, corrupt prosecutors, jailhouse snitches, mistaken eyewitnesses, and other all-too-common flaws of the trial system - and tell of the heroic efforts to free them.


What the Critics Say

"This may be the most important book on American criminal justice in a decade." (William Bernhardt, editor of Legal Briefs)
"[A] timely, troubling book...compelling." (New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hard To Believe

I found this book fascinating- though a little dated. It exposes the complete lack of justice in criminal justice system. The book focuses mostly on the 80's and 90's as DNA came into use.
What is shocking is how badly prosecutors behave and how juries convict on virtually no evidence. It is somewhat disturbing to hear how poorly our judicial system functions.
I think the book is worth your time.
You will be amazed by how little evidence is used to send someone to death row.
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- James P Carter

Great book, bad recording.

This is an excellent book that deals with important issues. The narration is quite good. IMPORTANT NOTE however, this audibook is recorded in format 2 (low fidelity) rather than the usual format 4. As a result, the sound is scratchy and weak, and this detracts from the experience.
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- James

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-11-2000
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio