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To be an innocent man accused

Laura Caldwell is a lawyer, novelist, professor and founder of Life After Innocence, an organization that helps exonerated persons re-enter society

Laura Caldwell is a lawyer, novelist, professor and founder of Life After Innocence, an organization that helps exonerated persons re-enter society. And although adding “nonfiction book writer” to that packed résumé might make even the most ambitious of people exhausted, Caldwell couldn’t not tell the harrowing, true story of how she and defense attorney Catherine O’Daniel helped free a Chicago teenager named Jovan Mosley, who spent six years in a cell for a murder he didn’t commit.

“It was so profound to me that I wanted to see how he did, how he survived. Jovan was such an inspiration to me,” Caldwell says on her decision to share their story in the new book, “Long Way?Home.” At its core, the book is a drama of how Mosley survived such a harrowing situation, but it’s also a look at the faults in our criminal justice system. “The story had to be told, but it also had to be the lens through which a little bit about the criminal justice system could be shown.”

Plus, Caldwell sadly realized that once Mosley was finally released, he was far from being in the clear. “Nobody was paying attention to his innocence,” she remembers. Caldwell says it’s “a second injustice” for nobody to help the wrongfully convicted.

“It is already so difficult to get rid of a disturbing picture on a Facebook wall, can you imagine taking a murder accusation off your record?” she asks.

 
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