Hundreds and men and women, including 120 on death row, have been released from America's prisons in the last several years, after incontrovertible proof of their innocence emerged. Their trials were undermined by the myriad problems that plague criminal proceedings - inept defense lawyers, overzealous prosecutors, deceitful interrogation tactics, bad science, opportunistic snitches, and faulty eyewitnesses. Their lives were effectively wrecked. Now, finally free, they're facing a new set of problems, with little sympathy from society. In SURVIVING JUSTICE, thirteen exonerees describe their experiences - the events that led to their convictions, their years in prison, and their new lives outside. Each oral history is a stark account of our criminal justice system's unforgivable flaws. David Pope, an exoneree featured in the book, will be joining Vollen to explain his case and answer questions.
David Pope spent fifteen years in the Texas prison system for a rape he didnâ€™t commit. He was convicted with now discredited â€œvoice spectrographâ€ technology that compared his voice to recorded conversations with the actual rapist. When DNA from his case proved his innocence in the late 1990s, Pope stayed in prison for years, unaware that heâ€™d been cleared. He was finally released in 2001, after Texas Governor Rick Perry signed his pardon.
Lola Vollen is a physician who has worked with human rights abuse survivors in Israel, Croatia, Kosovo and Somalia. She is the founder of the Life After Exoneration Program and co-editor of the Voice of Witness series.