Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt (Hardcover)

Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt By Phoebe Zerwick Cover Image
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A deeply reported, gripping
narrative of injustice, exoneration, and the lifelong impact of incarceration, Beyond
is the poignant saga of one remarkable life that sheds
vitally important light on the failures of the American justice system at every

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
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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780802159373
ISBN-10: 0802159370
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: March 8th, 2022
Pages: 352
Language: English