Life After Death

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Life After Death

Format:  Hardcover,

399 pages

Publisher: Penguin Group USA

Publish Date: Sep 2012

ISBN-13: 9780399160202

ISBN-10: 0399160205

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
In 1993, teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.--who have come to be known as the West Memphis Three--were arrested for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was marked by tampered evidence, false testimony, and public hysteria. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison; while eighteen-year-old Echols, deemed the "ringleader," was sentenced to death. Over the next two decades, the WM3 became known worldwide as a symbol of wrongful conviction and imprisonment, with thousands of supporters and many notable celebrities who called for a new trial. In a shocking turn of events, all three men were released in August 2011.
Now Echols shares his story in full--from abuse by prison guards and wardens, to portraits of fellow inmates and deplorable living conditions, to the incredible reserves of patience, spirituality, and perseverance that kept him alive and sane while incarcerated for nearly two decades.
In these pages, Echols reveals himself a brilliant writer, infusing his narrative with tragedy and irony in equal measure: he describes the terrors he experienced every day and his outrage toward the American justice system, and offers a firsthand account of living on Death Row in heartbreaking, agonizing detail. "Life After Death" is destined to be a riveting, explosive classic of prison literature.

Specifications

Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Publish Date: Sep 2012
ISBN-13: 9780399160202
ISBN-10: 0399160205
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 399
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.45
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.5 x 1.25

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2012-08-01)

Echols is one of the West Memphis Three (WM3), convicted in 1994 of the murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Echols was sentenced to death as the purported leader of what the prosecution asserted had been a deadly satanic ritual. After spending 18 years in prison, with Echols on Death Row, the WM3 were released in 2011 after years of appeals and the presentation of new forensic evidence.

Here, Echols traces his life from his impoverished and difficult childhood to his false conviction and his years in prison. The chapters on his earlier life alternate with his impressions of and commentary upon his life on Death Row. Echols's rescue took the form of a devoted woman, Lorri Davis, whom he married while imprisoned, the support of celebrities like Johnny Depp and Eddie Vedder, and an HBO documentary, Paradise Lost, that publicized and examined the West Memphis Three's case.

Verdict: Though its chronology is sometimes choppy, this is an eloquent, even bitterly lyrical, portrayal of how an innocent man can slip through the cracks of the legal system and struggle to survive. Compelling and deeply moving, in the tradition of Helen Prejean's Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States and Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, this memoir will appeal to a wide audience.

[Look for LJ's interview with the author, online only.-Ed.] - Antoinette Brinkman, Evansville, IN

(c). Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

In 1993, teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.--who have come to be known as the West Memphis Three--were arrested for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was marked by tampered evidence, false testimony, and public hysteria. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison; while eighteen-year-old Echols, deemed the "ringleader", was sentenced to death. Over the next two decades, the WM3 became known worldwide as a symbol of wrongful conviction and imprisonment, with thousands of supporters and many notable celebrities who called for a new trial. In a shocking turn of events, all three men were released in August 2011.

Now Echols shares his story in full--from abuse by prison guards and wardens, to portraits of fellow inmates and deplorable living conditions, to the incredible reserves of patience, spirituality, and perseverance that kept him alive and sane while incarcerated for nearly two decades.

In these pages, Echols reveals himself a brilliant writer, infusing his narrative with tragedy and irony in equal measure: he describes the terrors he experienced every day and his outrage toward the American justice system, and offers a firsthand account of living on Death Row in heartbreaking, agonizing detail. Life After Death is destined to be a riveting, explosive classic of prison literature.

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