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Framing Innocence: A Mother's Photographs, a Prosecutor's Zeal, and a Small Town's Response Hardcover – August 31, 2010
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A "well-written, absorbing book." --The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Powell is a gifted writer, and her ability to convey the complex characters and emotions . . . raises Framing Innocence above other books of its kind. . . . [An] intelligent, beautifully written book." --Chapter 16, Humanities Tennessee
A "gripping true story." --MORE magazine: Great Read, November 2010
"An unsettling story bound to grip readers with its own quest for justice, understanding, and truth." --New York Journal of Books
Top Customer Reviews
I played a bit part in the drama -- having inadvertently inspired the title of the chapter "Rorschach" -- and I read the book not so much with interest as with growing consternation. For the first two-thirds or so, the book reads a bit like a novel, but then it unfortunately becomes anticlimactic, as you desperately want something dramatic to happen. Life is rarely like art, however, and the author was stuck with nasty facts. Very nasty facts.
The main character in the book is Cynthia Stewart, who is described as an aging hippie and who also appears both naïve and uncommonly stubborn (though some would call it principled). The best advice she got, which was unfortunately correct, was not to expect justice from justice system; she did not get it. Indeed, she and her family probably would have been bankrupted but for $40,000 in contributions.
The most interesting character in some ways is the guardian ad litem, the official appointed to look out for the interests of Stewart's daughter. This woman looked for all the world like a right-wing anti-pornography crusading lunatic, but her commitment to truth and fairness far exceeded her anti-pornography zeal: she took one look at the photographs and pronounced them perfectly innocent. She did everything she could to protect not only Stewart's daughter, but also Stewart herself.
The same cannot be said of the prosecutor, Greg White.Read more ›
As she makes clear throughout the book, Powell is Stewart's friend and she was the treasurer of Stewart's defense committee. Those ties provided her with important insights into the case, and of course they provided her with important access to the defense team. If there is a weakness in the book, it is Powell's reluctance to criticize Stewart or to give much credit to the other side.
Thus, the book is unbalanced, but that is also part of its strength. We see the case almost -- but not quite -- through the defendant's eyes, which really drives home the disaster that can befall a family that has been wrongly accused. (Yes, Powell convinces me that Stewart was wrongly prosecuted, although I think there was more sincerity on the other side than she allows.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent read. Only criticism, as a lawyer is that author and editors incorrectly referred to a dispositional hearing as "dispensational".Published 8 months ago by Douglas R. Henry
Great read. Very eye opening. Hard to believe people are so judgmental.
Will share this one with all my friends.
When I started reading this book I felt a little anxious and nervous because I kept thinking this could have happened to someone I know. Read morePublished on November 6, 2013 by Jody Strickling
Avid amateur photographer Cynthia Stewart began taking pictures of her daughter since birth. After dropping off rolls of film at her local photo-mart, she was questioned by... Read morePublished on June 18, 2013 by Mary E. Young
Excellent story. A must read for any parent who innocently photographs their children. Especially prior to posting photos that you believe to be in good taste.Published on February 7, 2013 by john sperduto
The story gets 5 stars, the way it is presented gets 2 or 3 stars. The book is almost 300 pages long but the size of the book is smaller than normal so it's not quite as long as a... Read morePublished on July 14, 2012 by Book Fanatic
Anyone taking photos of their children should read this book -- a cautionary tale of how justice goes awry and how innocent people can become entangled in the legal system. Read morePublished on March 4, 2012 by Kathleen A. Welsch
This is a well-written book but the author is clearly too closely tied to the case to see it with any objectivity. Read morePublished on February 4, 2012 by Reader