7 Fiction Authors Who Write Wrongful Convictions
I'm currently writing a series of crime novels that will spotlight the greatest injustice in our justice system--wrongful convictions.
While I'm not aware of anyone who has dedicated an entire series to the subject, there are plenty who write wrongful convictions.
Here's a list of my favorites...
Julia Dahl: Conviction
John Grisham: The Confession, The Innocent Man and The Guardians
Ernest Gaines: A Lesson Before Dying
Walter Mosley: Down the River Unto the Sea
Kim Johnson: This is My America
These authors inspire me with their passion and prose to keep writing for those who are doing time for crimes they did not commit.
Crime Writers of Color Podcast
Read a Book ~ Right a Wrong
The Wrong: Too Many Wrongful Convictions
Too many people are doing time for crimes they did not commit.
Wrongful convictions are all too real in our justice system. As I write, almost 2,500 men and women have been exonerated, totaling more than 21,000 years lost. Conservative estimates are that only 1-2% of all convictions are of innocent people. That’s an impressive success rate, and it can be comforting to think that our criminal justice system incarcerates the correct person 98-99% of the time. However, this is not good news if you are among the 1-2%. Think about what that means in actual numbers. There are approximately 2.5 million people incarcerated in the US. Conservatively, then, there are thousands of innocent people doing time for crimes they did not commit.
Let’s do something about it...
Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison and All That Jazz
THEY CAN'T TAKE YOUR NAME is heavily influenced by poetry of Langston Hughes, the prose Ralph Ellison and essence of jazz.
Jazz is more than music, it’s a way of seeing and interacting with the history of America. This is why I love the work of Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison. When Hughes wrote his poem, Harlem: A Dream Deferred, he was doing jazz. He was not the first of the jazz poets, but he is definitely the most notable. These poets began by including references to music and musicians in their prose. Then they quickly embarked on applying what they saw the musicians doing on the stage and translated it into their verse. Making use of the elements of jazz, they gave birth to a new way of doing poetry—poetry in jazz. Read Langston Hughes and you find syncopation, improvisation and call-and-response especially as he interacts with the great American novelist, Ralph Ellison.
When Can You Call Yourself a Writer?
Even though I’d written and published four books, I refused to call myself a writer. For me, there had always been a mystique surrounding the word and I couldn’t summon the courage to own it for myself.
After all, I didn’t do well in creative writing class and still, to this day, have an rudimentary understanding of punctuation and grammar. When my participles dangle I haven’t a clue.
My Top Five Writing Tools
My top tools writing tools (outside of my Mac, which goes without saying).
5–Noise canceling headphones: Love my Beats for their bass but prefer my Bose for writing.
4–Remarkable 2: Feel of paper without paper. I use this for everything--journaling, mind-mapping, sketching and more!
Socially Conscious Fiction
What's socially conscious fiction?
A novel written with an awareness of real life issues. A book in which the world within the pages reflects the world in which we live, including, but not limited to things such as race & racism, mass incarceration, wrongful convictions and disparities between ethnic groups--WOKE WORDS.
I'm working on a series of novels that do exactly that and am searching for other writers to read regardless of genre.
With our words, we writers point out, expose and reveal the uncomfortable; overlooked, yet obvious truths of our society.
My whole life I've lived in Denver and over the years there have been numerous, heinous crimes committed by both black and white people.
What's puzzling is that more often the not,