J Bennett Allen
I write of wrongful convictions and executions. My wife edits and publishes my work. We have three books now available on Amazon, each in print and Kindle format. The books are:
The Skeptical Juror and The Trial of Byron Case
The Skeptical Juror and The Trial of Cory Maye
The Skeptical Juror and The Trial of Cameron Todd Willingham
We have edited and published Smith's Guide to Habeas Corpus Relief, written by Zachary A. Smith, an inmate and jailhouse lawyer. We have seen far too many cases of prisoners defaulting on their right to appeal because they had no defense counsel or (worse) they had inept counsel who simply failed to file within the deadline. In most cases, the would-be petitioners are factually guilty of the crime for which they are imprisoned. In a disturbing number of the cases, the would-be petitioners are factually innocent of the crime for which they are imprisoned. In all cases, someone we have imprisoned has lost one of the few legal rights he or she has left. We hope Smith's Guide will mitigate the problem by allowing prisoners to work more closely with their counsel or, if need be, to file the petition for habeas corpus pro se.
My next monograph will address the rate of wrongful convictions in American. You can read early drafts of most chapters at The Skeptical Juror blog (http://www.skepticaljuror.com). After reviewing a dozen estimates of the rate of wrongful conviction, and after presenting two separate analyses of my own, I argue that 10% of those we convict may in fact be innocent. Given that we have 2.5 million people incarcerated in this country, that means we may have a quarter of a million people behind bars for crimes they did not convict.
Of those quarter million who may be wrongfully imprisoned, I am directly involved in efforts to free two of them: Byron Case (Missouri) and Michael Ledford (Virginia). You can learn of Byron Case from my book. You can learn of Michael Ledford from my blog.
Inferno: An Inquiry into the Willingham Fire
by J Bennett Allen
Cameron Todd Willingham refused to walk to his execution. To his last moment he proclaimed his innocence of the arson that claimed the lives of his children.
While much has been written of the trial, conviction and execution of Willingham, Inferno is the first exploration of the possible causes of the fire that cost three children, and eventually, Willingham himself, their lives.