In my recent book, Accused, one of the main characters is accused of a crime that he didn’t commit. In looking at the criminal justice system in the United States, there are plenty of people who are convicted of crimes only to find years later through DNA evidence that a mistake has been made. In many cases juries decide the fate of a person’s innocence or guilt based on a gut feeling not actual evidence.
Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union is set up to monitor “freedom” because it is often the case that civil liberties are at risk when a person is falsely accused of a crime. Of course, race plays a part as statistics and research repeatedly illustrate. In a recent article posted by the ACLU the following information was shared:
Black people convicted of killing white people are far more likely to be sentenced to death than white people convicted of killing black people.
When the main character in my book is accused of a crime, he fits the profile of so many other people of color who have been wrongly convicted which is clearly an issue in the US and an issue that I wanted to raise in writing Accused.
I was recently informed that one of the readers of Accused didn’t “believe” the book because the main character was accused and arrested without any proof. But, that’s the issue isn’t it? People ARE accused AND convicted of crimes every day with little or no proof.
To again quote the ACLU:
Black defendants are more likely than their white counterparts to be wrongfully convicted, and defendants charged with crimes against white victims are far more likely to be erroneously convicted than defendants charged with crimes involving nonwhite victims.
So, Accused was written as a cautionary tale, but a tale that is very realistic in American society. A young black man can be accused of crime that he didn’t commit with little or no evidence and still be convicted of the crime and sentenced accordingly. That’s not fiction, but a statistical fact that has been shown over and over again in studies throughout the US.
Continue to check my blog for more, “Behind The Book” information .
Peace & Love,