Fr. 35.50

When Innocence Is Not Enough - Hidden Evidence and the Failed Promise of the Brady Rule

English · Hardback

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Author connections: Author is well-connected with relevant authors and activists, who could be asked for blurbs or other support. His network includes Sr. Helen Prejean; James Forman, Jr.; Clive Stafford-Smith; Bryan Stevenson; Dick Tofel, President of ProPublica; Bill Keller, founding editor-in-chief at The Marshall Project; Barry Pollack, past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL); Cristina Swarns, Executive Director of the Innocence Project.

Earned media presence: Author has been published in The Guardian, Slate, Longreads, The Marshall Project, and The Appeal. The first three are general interest sites; the last two feature legal matters.

About the author

Thomas L. Dybdahl, who has degrees in theology, journalism, and law, is a former staff attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where he worked in both the trial and appellate divisions, and tried twenty-five homicide cases. The author of When Innocence Is Not Enough (The New Press), he lives in Boulder, Colorado.


A gripping work of narrative nonfiction, told across time, that exposes what’s at stake when prosecutors conceal evidence—and what we can do about it

The Brady rule was meant to transform the U.S. justice system. In soaring language, the Supreme Court decreed in 1963 that prosecutors must share favorable evidence with the defense—part of a suite of decisions of that reform-minded era designed to promote fairness for those accused of crimes. But reality intervened. The opinion faced many challenges, ranging from poor legal reasoning and shaky precedent to its clashes with the very foundations of the American criminal legal system and some of its most powerful enforcers: prosecutors.

In this beautifully wrought work of narrative nonfiction, Thomas L. Dybdahl illustrates the promise and shortcomings of the Brady rule through deft storytelling and attention to crucial cases, including the infamous 1984 murder of Catherine Fuller in Washington, DC. This case led to eight young Black men being sent to prison for life after the prosecutor, afraid of losing the biggest case of his career, hid information that would have proven their innocence.

With a seasoned defense lawyer’s unsparing eye for detail, Thomas L. Dybdahl chronicles the evolution of the Brady rule—from its unexpected birth to the series of legal decisions that left it defanged and ineffective. Yet Dybdahl shows us a path forward by highlighting promising reform efforts across the country that offer a blueprint for a legislative revival of Brady’s true spirit.

Product details

Authors Thomas L. Dybdahl
Publisher New press usa
Languages English
Product format Hardback
Released 17.01.2023
EAN 9781620977040
ISBN 978-1-62097-704-0
No. of pages 224
Subjects Social sciences, law, business > Business > General, dictionaries

LAW / Criminal Law / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Penology, LAW / Criminal Law / Sentencing, Criminal procedure

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