Lara Bazelon and James Bell
Please note, this event has expired.
Join us for a “Conversation at the Edge” with Lara Bazelon and James Bell — a conversation about race, wrongful convictions, and the role of restorative justice.
Join Mesa Refuge alums Lara Bazelon and James Bell in a discussion about race, wrongful convictions, and the role of restorative justice in bringing together crime victims and exonerees to work through a shared trauma, heal, and become advocates for reform.
Lara’s new book, Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction, was written, in part, at the Mesa Refuge in 2017.
This event is co-presented with Mesa Refuge.
In Rectify, a former Innocence Project director and journalist Lara Bazelon puts a face to the growing number of men and women exonerated from crimes that kept them behind bars for years—sometimes decades—and that devastate not only the exonerees but also their families, the crime victims who mistakenly identified them as perpetrators, the jurors who convicted them, and the prosecutors who realized too late that they helped convict an innocent person.
Bazelon focuses on Thomas Haynesworth, a teenager arrested for multiple rapes in Virginia, and Janet Burke, a rape victim who mistakenly IDed him. It took over two decades before he was exonerated. Conventional wisdom points to an exoneration as a happy ending to tragic tales of injustice, such as Haynesworth’s. However, even when the physical shackles are left behind, invisible ones can be profoundly more difficult to unlock.
Movingly written and vigorously researched, Rectify takes to task the far-reaching failures of our criminal justice system and offers a window into a future where the power it yields can be used in pursuit of healing and unity rather than punishment and blame.
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