The Exonerated: A Play

The Exonerated: A Play

by Jessica Blank, Erik Jensen

Paperback(First Edition)

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What effect does it have on a person—a soul, a life—to have freedom and self-respect stripped away and then, ostensibly, returned years later after decades of incarceration? The Exonerated attempts to answer this question through the words of six innocent men and women who, after years in jail, emerged from death row to try to reclaim what was left of their lives.

Among them are Sunny Jacobs, a mother of two whose unwavering belief during sixteen years in jail that she would be released (despite the execution of her husband, who was also innocent, for the same crime) allowed her to dedicate herself to being a "living memorial" when she was freed. There is Kerry Max Cook, a Texan who was convicted of murdering a young woman even though she was found with another man's hair grasped in her fist—a man whom "Texas killed a thousand times, and just keeps on doing it" in his nightmares. And there is Delbert Tibbs, a black Chicago poet who speaks of his years on death row with anger and bitterness, yet also, as he says, "still sings." All their stories have been compiled and edited by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen into The Exonerated, a play that is both a riveting work of theater and an exploration of the dark side of the American criminal justice system.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780571211838
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 12/15/2003
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 749,292
Product dimensions: 5.47(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.28(d)

About the Author

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen are actors as well as playwrights. Married to each other, they live in New York

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The Exonerated: A Play 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's hard to sum up this play, but I'm going to try since it's not a read I've seen listed here as of yet. It's a simple play that attempts to document the true stories of men and women who were falsely accused and convicted of crimes that set them on death row until they were eventually, years later, exonerated and released. I strongly suggest taking the time to read the intro. even if you wouldn't normally, as the authors give you an idea of all the men and women they spoke too, their interviews and hours of research, and how meticulously truthful this full work is.Charles Isherwood wrote the following in Variety: "An artful and moving evening of documentary theater...The play is on the one hand a devastating memorial to injustice, but it also pays handsome tribute to the resilience of human hearts and minds." I can't say much more than that. This is a one-sitting read that I'm thankful to have read--its' moments of humor and moments of hate (yet, never coming from the exonerated themselves) make you remember for yourself what is important, and why we survive through the worst we face. You find yourself slipping through a few pages easily, and then you realize that someone said these words, that this happened, and you stop. It is an emotional read, worth taking the time for. I also want to add that in a strange way I'm glad to have read this rather than seen it, as I think it sank in more strongly with the pictures I created for myself. Having said that, and recommended its reading, I will also say that I'll hope at some point in the future to see it performed. As a work of documentation and emotion, this work is powerful and worth looking into. I wish in a way it had been longer, but it is perfect for what it is.
riofriotex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this play because it was required reading for incoming freshmen at my son¿s college. It¿s the true story of six exonerated Death Row inmates. The stories are compelling, but even more so when actually performed: I also watched the 90-minute Court TV production on DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was also a jr. in High school when i was first introduced to and performed in the Exonerated. This is a play of great social relevance, addressing issues ranging from racial, political, ethical, philosophical, spiritual and many others. The lives and experiences of these men and women are simultaneously heartbreaking and really see their heart and soul shining through, you are drawn right into their lives,and guided by them through their darkest hours. I have chills every time i finish this play. it is engrossing and emotionally, intellectually charged from the first line to the last. it will always stay in my heart and my mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a junior in hign school right now, and my school has been fortunate to perform this show at festival. The show is GREAT!! and it has a really important that everyone should here.