A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: haunting

Life After Death for Damien Echols

By Meghan Lalonde

Today’s New York Times ran a positive review for Damien Echols’ new memoir, Life After Death.  Mr. Echols served nearly two decades on death row, over half of them in solitary confinement, for murders he didn’t commit.

The Times’ review’s praise is well deserved, and follows stellar reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and more.

Before seeing Mr. Echols’ handwritten photocopies of  Mr. Echols’ diary entries from his time in prison (reproduced in the book), New York Times reporter Janet Maslin suspected that the book was ghostwritten.

Can’t say I blame her.

Life After Death is a beautiful, and powerful read.  Could a high school dropout like Mr. Echols have written it himself?

Indeed he could, and did.  I’ve had the opportunity of meeting Mr. Echols more than once, and he is a remarkably, even exceptionally, intelligent and thoughtful man.  Reading the book was like listening to Mr. Echols speak — his charm, wit, and soulfulness permeate throughout.

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