Smoke but No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened First Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 54 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0520300644
ISBN-10: 0520300645
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The author's accumulation of evidence is revelatory. An eye-opening book that suggests how commonplace are miscarriages of justice in the U.S." ― Kirkus Reviews

“Jessica Henry provides a concise and even-handed account of no-crime convictions and the numerous, interdependent ways in which they are allowed to continue. Her ability to weave personal stories with the matter of (legal) fact writing beautifully illustrates a perfectly ugly scenario. . . . The book is an informative and interesting read that also provides a great starting point for anyone who may want to further investigate this miscarriage of criminal justice.” ―
Crime, Law and Social Change

"
Smoke but No Fire is an engaging read that offers a damning indictment of the American criminal justice system and its pervasive indifference to the possibility of innocence." ― Wrongful Conviction Law Review

"
Smoke but No Fire is groundbreaking and frightening. . . . This book lays bare the deepest and darkest dysfunction within the criminal legal system and helps us understand what we can do about it." ― The Champion

"The book allows the reader a bit of hope, which is both cautiously optimistic and deliberately realistic. Henry provides a number of recommendations for reform that do not push the bounds of reality but instead focus on incremental and achievable success."

Crime, Law, and Social Change

From the Back Cover

"Smoke but No Fire shines a bright light on a criminal justice system that lacks fidelity to the protections at the heart of our democracy. And the consequences are dire, as Jessica Henry vividly illustrates through gripping stories of innocent people who spent years in prison for crimes that never happened at all. This book urges criminal justice actors to recommit to a vision that sees wrongful convictions as an intolerable evil and it is an important wake-up call to professionals complicit in the status quo."––Jonathan Rapping, founder of Gideon's Promise, Inc. and author of Gideon's Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice

"In this thoroughly researched and clearly written book, Jessica Henry meticulously explains the seemingly inexplicable: how innocent people can be convicted of crimes that did not occur. 
Smoke but No Fire will stand as the definitive account of this enigmatic type of miscarriage of justice."––Simon A. Cole, Director, National Registry of Exonerations, University of California, Irvine

"Henry's riveting book introduces readers to the world of no-crime exonerations. It is truly shocking to learn how crimes can be entirely fabricated through both misconduct and negligence."––Brandon L. Garrett, author of
Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong

"Chilling and indispensable, 
Smoke, But No Fire should be required reading for everyone who cares about the integrity of our criminal justice system. With precision and great clarity, Jessica S. Henry documents the chaos and devastation that wrongful convictions inflict on society, while offering meaningful and workable solutions."––Gilbert King, author of Devil in the Grove and Beneath a Ruthless Sun

"Henry unpacks a phenomenon few are aware of—the shocking problem of innocent people convicted of crimes that never actually happened at all. Written in powerful and accessible prose, this is a must read for lawyers, true crime fans, and anyone who cares about justice."––Mark Godsey, author of
Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of California Press; First edition (August 4, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 264 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0520300645
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0520300644
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.3 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 54 ratings

About the author

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Jessica S. Henry is an author, professor, legal commentator, blogger, and criminal justice expert, with a particular focus on wrongful convictions. She is passionate about criminal law and procedure, criminal justice policy and criminal justice reform, and issues relating to harsh sentences including the death penalty and life without parole.

Jessica is the author of the forthcoming book, "Smoke but No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened" (U.C. Press 2020), which looks at the shocking cases of innocent people who were wrongly convicted of crimes that never happened in the first place. In addition to her book, Jessica has researched and written articles for academic and mainstream publications. She is an active writer and blogger, with posts appearing on her own blog: http://jessicahenryjustice.com/blog/, as well as in the Conversation, Medium, the Huffington Post and the Wrongful Convictions Blog.

Jessica's passion is criminal justice, and she loves to talk about ways to reform our justice system. She has appeared on national television, been a radio commentator on NPR and Pacifica Radio, and has been featured on other national and local radio shows. She also has been interviewed by the AP, and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and the Nation.

If you want to learn more about what Jessica is working on, visit her website at http://jessicahenryjustice.com/ and be sure to subscribe to receive updates about her work. She'd love to connect with you about all things related to criminal justice.

When she is not working, Jessica can be found spending time with family, reading, traveling or playing mah jong.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
54 global ratings

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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 11, 2022