Phoebe Zerwick: Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt
6PM SATURDAY, APRIL 9
IN CONVERSATION WITH ASU LAW PROFESSOR VALENA E. BEETY
REGISTRATION REQUIRED. You can support Changing Hands by purchasing the book via Eventbrite below, or by contributing what you can. A suggested contribution of $5, $10, $15—whatever you can afford—will help keep our virtual event series sustainable and accessible to all. Thank you!
Investigative journalist Phoebe Zerwick presents her new book Beyond Innocence, a gripping narrative of injustice, exoneration, and the lifelong impact of incarceration. In conversation with ASU Law Professor Valena E. Beety (Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women
Reclaim Their Rights).
ABOUT THE LIVE EVENT
- We're limiting attendance to allow for social distancing, so registration via Eventbrite is required for admission.
- Masks are required.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A deeply reported, gripping narrative of injustice, exoneration, and the lifelong impact of incarceration, Beyond Innocence is the poignant saga of one remarkable life that sheds vitally important light on the failures of the American justice system at every level.
In June 1985, a young Black man in Winston-Salem, N.C. named Darryl Hunt was falsely convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a white copyeditor at the local paper. Many in the community believed him innocent and crusaded for his release even as subsequent trials and appeals reinforced his sentence. Finally, in 2003, the tireless efforts of his attorney combined with an award-winning series of articles by Phoebe Zerwick in the Winston-Salem Journal led to the DNA evidence that exonerated Hunt. Three years later, the acclaimed documentary, The Trials of Darryl Hunt, made him known across the country and brought his story to audiences around the world. But Hunt's story was far from over. As Zerwick poignantly reveals, it is singularly significant in the annals of the miscarriage of justice and for the legacy Hunt ultimately bequeathed. Part true-crime drama, part chronicle of a life cut short by systemic racism, Beyond Innocence powerfully illuminates the sustained catastrophe faced by an innocent person in prison and the civil death nearly everyone who has been incarcerated experiences attempting to restart their lives. Freed after nineteen years behind bars, Darryl Hunt became a national advocate for social justice, and his case inspired lasting reforms, among them a law that allows those on death row to appeal their sentence with evidence of racial bias. He was a beacon of hope for so many--until he could no longer bear the burden of what he had endured and took his own life. Fluidly crafted by a master journalist, Beyond Innocence makes an urgent moral call for an American reckoning with the legacies of racism in the criminal justice system and the human toll of the carceral state.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phoebe Zerwick is an award-winning investigative journalist, narrative writer, and college teacher. Her writing has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, National Geographic, The Nation, Winston-Salem Journal, and Glamour, among other publications. Her work has been recognized by The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, Columbia University, and the North Carolina Press Association and featured in the HBO documentary The Trials of Darryl Hunt. She is the director of the journalism program at Wake Forest University.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR
Valena Beety is a former federal prosecutor and innocence litigator who represented Leigh Stubbs in post-conviction. She has successfully exonerated wrongfully convicted clients, obtained presidential grants of clemency for drug offenders, served as an elected board member of the national Innocence Network, and was appointed commissioner on the West Virginia Governor’s Indigent Defense Commission. She is currently a Professor of Law at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the Deputy Director of the Academy for Justice, a criminal justice center at the law school that connects research with policy reform. Previously, she founded and directed the West Virginia Innocence Project at the West Virginia University College of Law and practiced as a Senior Staff Attorney at the Mississippi Innocence Project, representing clients on death row. Author of Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights. Visit her online at ValenaBeety.com.