Anatomy of Innocence: Exoneree Stories Told by Prominent Authors
03.30.17 By Innocence Staff
An anthology of stories of the wrongfully convicted, with a foreword by Innocence Project Co-Founder Barry Scheck, was released Tuesday by Liveright Publishing Corporation.
Anatomy of Innocence, edited by Laura Caldwell and Leslie S. Klinger, features exoneree stories told by high-profile fiction authors such as Lee Child, Sara Paretsky and Laurie King.
The collection also includes an essay written by Arthur Miller in 2002 in support of the Center on Wrongful Convictions’ campaign to abolish the death penalty in Illinois. Miller tells the story of Peter Reilly, who was wrongfully convicted of killing his own mother in 1974. The essay was republished in the New York Times on Tuesday.
Reilly was 18 years old when he falsely confessed to his mother’s murder after a 25-hour interrogation during which he was denied food and legal counsel. Convinced of his innocence, his Connecticut community helped raise money to get his case back into court. Testimony from an alibi witness was discovered in 1976 and the charges against him were dropped.
Miller notes that, if Reilly was convicted in a death penalty state, he may well have been executed for a crime he did not commit.
“The nation’s conscience forbids the state to kill innocent people,” Miller wrote. “The death penalty makes the presumption that there are never going to be corrupt, ambitious, cowardly prosecutors and police who, afraid to admit they were wrong in arresting a suspect, go down to the end insisting on his guilt; that there are never honest mistakes in judgment, never any visual misidentifications, but that in each and every prosecution the guilty verdict is invariably deserved.”
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