Their names are, or should be, familiar by now, among them:Thomas McGowan
. Certainly, by now, you know their stories: Following trials in Dallas County, they were put in Texas prisons for crimes they did not commit. Those men and six others are featured in book,TESTED: How Twelve Wrongly Imprisoned Men Held Onto Hope
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, due on shelves next week.
The book was written by Peyton Budd, who conducted the interviews with the free men, and her mother Dorothy Budd, a former child sex crimes prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney's Office who's now an Episcopal deacon at The Church of the Incarnation on McKinney. (She's also Russell's wife.) Deborah Luster, best known for her work documenting Louisiana prisoners, photographed the men featured in TESTED. In a Q&A press release, Dorothy says of her experience writing the book, for which Dallas County DA Craig Watkins wrote the intro:
As a lawyer, while I was certainly aware of the reality that our justice system was at times flawed, I was nonetheless completely taken aback by the enormity and pervasiveness of the problems these men's stories point out -- especially for the poor, whose voices so often go unheard. I have taken away from this my conviction that all over this country there are innocent men and women in prisons whose voices need to be heard so they can be freed and, eventually, the true criminals apprehended.