Hosted by Blanche Richardson (proprietor of Marcus Books)
Can a murderer be redeemed? What happens to murderers who’ve served decades in prison? Award-winning journalist Nancy Mullane began asking these questions while visiting San Quentin State Prison on an assignment to report on the exploding costs of incarceration. The people she met in prison astonished her with their remorse, introspection, determination and hopes for freedom and forgiveness. The five men profiled in this book all committed tragic crimes that tore families and communities apart. But given a life sentence and the possibility of parole, society offered each man a kind of promise, that if he paid his debt to society and demonstrated rehabilitation, he might have a chance to return to a life outside the prison walls. Each man embraced that hope and spent decades in San Quentin working towards the possibility of a second chance.
State prison statistics, provided exclusively to Mullane, show that convicted murderers released from prison on parole never commit murder again, and less than 1% commit another crime.
“Life After Murder challenges us to do the unthinkable in this era of mass incarceration – view those accused of heinous crimes as worthy of our care, compassion and concern. Nancy Mullane, a white woman who once was just as ignorant about the real world of crime and punishment as the typical television viewer, takes us on a remarkable journey behind bars and introduces us to five unforgettable men who are struggling to transform their lives. Through their stories we are reminded of the power and possibility of redemption, as well as the nearly unforgiveable crime our nation has committed: treating some human beings as disposable.”
—Michelle Alexander, author of the NYT bestseller, The New Jim Crow
“This is journalism at its finest and a must-read for anyone interested in the realities of our prison system.” — Tom Ammiano, CA Assemblymember &
chair of the Committee on Public Safety
The economic realities of California and other states add urgency to this story. The US, with less than 5% of the world’s population, incarcerates nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners. Each inmate costs state and federal governments between $30,000 and $100,000 every year in living, health care and legal expenses, a heavy burden at a time when states everywhere face budget shortfalls.
“(This) remarkable on the ground reporting should elicit soul-searching from the Left, Right and Center. If these five former inmates can lead responsible, productive lives after decades in maximum-security prisons, can they show us the way toward a new policy that combines fiscal responsibility, public safety, and genuine remorse?”
—Amy Bach, author of Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court
Nancy Mullane develops, reports, and produces feature stories for Public Radio International’s This America Life, NPR, and NPR affiliate KALW. She is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists, the Association of Independents in Radio, and the International Women’s Media Foundation. In 2011, she was the recipient of a National Edward R. Murrow Award.
$12 advance tickets Pegasus Books (3 locations), Marcus Books, Mrs. Dalloway’s, Moe’s Books, Walden Pond, DIESEL a Bookstore, and Modern Times ($15 door) $9 HC members
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