Stolen Years by Reuven Fenton

Less than a year away from the next United States Presidential Election, Americans are talking about the issues that matter to them and the things that they hope the presidential candidates will speak about. One of those topics is the reform of the criminal justice system. Social movements such as Black Lives Matter have shined a light on the alarming amount of police brutality that takes place in our nation. Many of the presidential candidates have spoken about reducing the severity of punishment for petty crimes and attempting to decrease the number of Americans who are incarcerated. In his new book, Stolen Years: Stories of the Wrongfully Imprisoned, author and New York Post reporter Reuven Fenton delves into another equally important aspect of this conversation.

In the book, Fenton tells the stories of ten individuals who were tried and incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. Through these personal recollections, readers gain insight into the alarming lengths that investigators and prosecutors will go to for a conviction. Many of the people who are featured in this work were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fenton writes of the grueling interrogation techniques meant to eat away at a person until they confess. Several of the people featured here were fed confessions that they then repeated simply so that they could escape the arduous process.

As I worked my way through each of the short stories, I was shocked to learn how easy it is for a person to slip through the cracks of the justice system. Whether by police oversight of undeniable evidence or an overeager prosecutor willing to spin a narrative so that their version of the events seems the most correct, many people have had large parts of their lives stolen from them. Can you imagine sitting in a confined cell on death row for 15-20 years, all while knowing that you are innocent? The bureaucracy involved in overturning a false conviction can often be even more trying than the events leading up to imprisonment. These personal stories combined with exhaustive research illuminate the absurdity of parts of the system.

There is no denying the importance of police and the criminal justice system. Most of the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect and serve deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. Fenton never approaches these stories with a biased disdain for law enforcement. Rather, he shows how the system is not a flawless entity. These mistakes affect people just like you and I. The ramifications of wrongful convictions linger in their lives long after redemption and release. With this sympathetic, informational, and consistently engaging portrait of injustice, Fenton gives a voice to the men and women whose stories deserve to be part of our important national dialogue.

For more information visit Amazon and GoodReads. This review is part of a blog tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. Check out the full tour schedule here.

(2015, 34)

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This entry was posted on Monday, November 16, 2015 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

One Response to “Stolen Years by Reuven Fenton”

  1. It is sad and scary that this happens. We're taught to trust the legal system, yet clearly mistakes are made.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour for this eye-opening book.


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