Recently while at work I had a discussion with someone about the Making A Murderer documentary. She was very well versed in the story and seemed very intrigued by the topic, so I recommended to her that she look into another riveting documentary detailing wrongful convictions: Paradise Lost, the story of the West Memphis Three. She then in turn recommended to me a Podcast called Serial. I looked up the podcast and found immediately that it was indeed right up my alley. It’s been called the most successful podcast ever, and I think you’ll too be soon caught up in the story. After barely breaking the surface of the story told in Serial, I came across a book that digs deeper into the Adnan story written by an author who also co-hosts another podcast Undisclosed, which continues detailing the on-going Adnan story. In short, in just the past few days I’ve been exposed to a new and crucial story in the ever-growing world of wrongful conviction exposure.
I would recommend that you start with the Serial podcast to familiarize yourself with the case and history of this whole story. From there it seems that the hardcover book would be a great next step to deepen your knowledge of the story, as it purports to “tell the stories not told in Serial.” Concurrent with, or after the book, Undisclosed seems to be “up to date” day to day developments in Adnan’s case.
Here are some links to the various sources mentioned here:
Serial Podcast: https://serialpodcast.org/season-one
Undisclosed Podcast: http://undisclosed-podcast.com/episodes/season-1/
Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial Hardcover:
Many people have come to the wrongful conviction issue through the extremely popular Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer. I too, in a sense, came to the issue through a documentary, but as in many things in my life, it actually began with a book. I’ve told this story elsewhere but my first revelation concerning the wrongful conviction problem in American jurisprudence came to me when I read Damien Echols’ autobiographical book called Life After Death. Damien Echols spent eighteen years on death row for a crime he did not commit, and he has yet to be exonerated completely. His story, as well as the two other boys that make up the West Memphis 3 are documented in masterful form in a three-part documentary called Paradise Lost. If you have yet to immerse yourself in either the book or the documentary, I highly recommend that you do so.
These stories, when told so well by trained and talented storytellers, have a way of grabbing our attention, and I am personally thankful for their work in that it has opened up for me a whole new area of study that I find edifying and completely fascinating, if not also heartbreaking. My thoughts cannot help but think of the likely hundreds and even thousands of other cases that have not received the media attention that these small handful have. And as I was asking Tezi, so I ask you, the reader, what can we do? What can any one person do, what can a regular Joe Shmoe do to help people in prison right now (real bars, or even the shackles of being labeled or on a list)? So far, the only answer I’ve been able to come up with for the time-being is a combination of awareness for myself, educating myself, and promoting awareness in others. But I can’t help but feel that this is not only not enough, but dare I say even less than I could do, or even we could do together. There has to be more that regular people such as myself and Tezi can do to fight for justice.
As always Tezi and I are eager for your thoughts and input. These issues may hit closer to home for you than for others, what’s been your experience and what answers have come across your own mind? Thank you for reading.