Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Long Way Home: A Young Man Lost in the System and the Two Women Who Found Him Hardcover – September 14, 2010
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
From Publishers Weekly
In another account of justice gone wrong, a good kid from a bad neighborhood, 19-year-old Jovan Mosley, had never been in trouble with the police before Aug. 6, 1999, when he was falsely accused of and arrested for participating in a fight that turned deadly. Though Mosley adamantly declared his innocence, Chicago police handcuffed him in an interrogation room for more than 24 hours, bullying him until the exhausted Mosley signed a confession. Loyola law professor and mystery novelist Caldwell (Red, White & Dead) recounts Mosley's six-year stint in Chicago's toughest county jail, awaiting a trial on a charge of first-degree murder, and her own emotional journey co-chairing his defense. After five years--during which two inept public defenders both advised Mosley to accept a plea bargain--Mosley's plight came to the attention of top-notch Chicago defense attorney Catharine O'Daniel. She took on the case pro bono, recruiting Caldwell, a former civil litigator, to help with the complex trial. Caldwell eloquently evokes Mosley's struggles to have faith in a justice system that had so obviously failed him.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Raised in rough neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side, Jovan Mosley struggled to steer clear of gangs and dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Instead he found himself witnessing a brutal murder. Coerced into confessing to a role in the crime, Jovan spent nearly six years in a supermax detention center without trial, held for a murder he didn’t commit. A chance meeting with Cathy O’Daniel, a gutsy criminal defense attorney, changed his fortunes. Caldwell, a lawyer turned novelist (The Rome Affair, 2006, and the Izzy McNeil mystery series), assisted O’Daniel with Jovan’s defense, and now expertly chronicles his harrowing experience in this taut real-life thriller. From Jovan’s arrest through his interrogation, incarceration, and trial, she creates a gripping portrait of a man wrongly accused, who, despite his experiences within a flawed justice system, maintained his sense of dignity and hope. The narrative sags when the focus shifts to Jovan’s lawyers—the juxtaposition of Jovan’s situation with Caldwell’s complaints about book tours and cafeteria salads is jarring—but regains steam as his trial draws to its palpably tense conclusion. --Patty Wetli
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The very best feature of this book is its even-handedness. Laura Caldwell is sympathetic to all of the players involved in this drama. There are no clear cut bad guys -- not the police, the public defenders, the judges, the prison guards or even the prisoners. Rather, our justice system is one run by human beings, and it is fallible and imperfect exactly because of that.
What happened to Jovan, however, is completely beyond the pale, and we must confront the most grievous errors we commit in our courts and take responsibility for them. This is must reading for every citizen, because we are the only ones who can improve the judicial system and compensate its victims.This may be one of the most important books you will ever read.
So well written...
"The Sixth Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to a fair and speedy trial." That is what I kept repeating to myself as I read the absolutely staggering true story of Jovan Mosely. Jovan's story begins in one of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods. Despite every bad influence in the book, this teenager had managed to keep out of trouble and away from the gangs. He was smart. He did well in school and was thinking about college. All of that changed on August 6, 1999 when he was 19 years old. He was out walking with some friends and acquaintances when they came across a group beating a man in the street. Jovan took no part in it, and when he saw the direction that things were heading, he walked away. But witnesses placed him at the scene. When the victim died, Jovan was picked up for questioning. He was not out of custody again for the next six years of his life.
The phrase that comes to mind to describe Jovan's ordeal is "miscarriage of justice." I'm aware of what a cliché it is, but how else can you describe an innocent man's life stolen? Jovan's story reads like a John Grisham plot at its over-the-top best, but it's a lot less entertaining when there's a real life on the line.
Enter author Laura Caldwell. In addition to being a writer of light mysteries, she is a former civil attorney and a professor of law at Chicago's Loyola University. She has researched this story backwards and forwards and has laid it out in a straightforward and engaging manner. Additionally, she addresses what went wrong by looking at the issues from all sides, rather than simply casting blame. Caldwell is more than qualified to be the chronicler of this tale, but perhaps what is most amazing is her personal involvement in the story. After years of unjust imprisonment, Jovan finally acquires competent counsel in the form of defense attorney Catharine O'Daniel. At last he will get his day in court. But his attorney needs help trying this pro bono murder case. One thing leads to another, and she convinces a writer with no background in criminal law to second chair.
It's such an amazing story! Surely someone is developing the film? But it is when she becomes a major player in the drama that author Caldwell shows the most restraint. There's no self-aggrandizing here. In fact, she downplays her role as much as possible. I'll say it again, John Grisham couldn't have invented a more compelling tale. Truthfully, by the time I finished reading the book, I felt angry and helpless, as there is little the average citizen can do to change the system. But my eyes are open now, and to the degree that I can effect change, I will.
Read. This. Book.
The book itself is pretty gripping, and walks the tightrope between legal thriller and a picture of a helpless man caught in hell - from setting his sights on Ohio State one moment to a maximum security prison in Illinois. The description of the daily life was harrowing, and you felt like you were along with Mosley, treading water, trying not to drown.
When I first found out the story of Jovan Mosley and the book, I was hoping that a third party would write the book, because I think it's impossible to write about the narrative and not involve yourself. I'm glad that Caldwell didn't interject herslf too much into the book - a lesser writer would have added more about themselves.
The book is a quick read, and it'll make you wonder how many men are behind bars in the same situation, without angels to protect them and make the legal system just.