INTRODUCTION


Recipient of the 2013 The Media for a Just Society (MJS) Award presented by the National Council on Crime & Delinquency

Once a murderer, always a murderer? Or can a murderer be redeemed? Who do they really become after they have served decades in prison? What does it take for a killer to be accepted back into society? What is the chance that he will kill again?

Award-winning journalist Nancy Mullane found herself facing these questions when she accepted an assignment to report on the exploding costs of incarceration. But the men she met behind the walls astonished her with their remorse, introspection, determination, and unshakable hope for freedom and forgiveness.

Life After Murder is an intimately reported, utterly compelling story of five convicted murderers sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, who discover after decades in prison that their second chance, if it comes at all, is also the challenge of a lifetime. It follows their struggle for redemption, their legal battles to make good on the state’s promise of parole, and the lives they found after so many years inside.


ED RAMIREZ

Conviction, 1982:
Second-degree murder

Sentence:
Fifteen years to life with
the possibility of parole

Parole reversed by
Governor Gray Davis

DON CRONK

Conviction, 1984:
First-degree murder

Sentence:
Twenty-five years to life
with the possibility of parole

Parole reversed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

JESSE REED

Conviction, 1985:
First-degree murder

Sentence:
Twenty-seven years to life with the possibility of parole

Parole reversed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

PHILLIP SEILER

Conviction, 1988:
Second-degree murder

Sentence:
Seventeen years to life with the possibility of parole

Parole reversed by Governor Gray Davis and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

RICH RAEL

Conviction, 1982:
Second-degree murder

Sentence:
Twenty-two years to life with the possibility of parole

Parole reversed by Governor Gray Davis

FEATURED REVIEWS


Life After Murder challenges us to do the unthinkable in the era of mass incarceration – view those accused of heinous crimes as worthy of our care, compassion and concern. Nancy Mullane, a white woman who once was just as ignorant about the real world of crime and punishment as the typical television viewer, takes us on a remarkable journey behind bars and introduces us to five unforgettable men who are struggling to transform their lives. Through their stories we are reminded of the power and possibility of redemption, as well the nearly unforgiveable crime our nation has committed: treating some human beings as disposable.

–MICHELLE ALEXANDER

 

“Life After Murder is a gripping behind the scenes look at men who have committed heinous crimes yet still challenge our humanity by asking us to truly consider the meaning of redemption. This is journalism at its finest and a must-read for anyone interested in the realities of our prison system.”

–TOM AMMIANO, California Assembly Member

 

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