Suggested reading and other resources


Snitching, Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice, Alexandra Natapoff, Law Professor (2009)
Death and Justice, An Expose of Oklahoma’s Death Row Machine, Mark Fuhrman, (2003)

In Contempt, Christopher Darden, (1997)

Dead man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean (1993)

The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions (2004) Sister Helen Prejean
The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, John Grisham (2006)

The Angel of Death Row, Andrea Lyon

The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander and Cornel West

Organizations and Internet sites:

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty:

Center on Wrongful Convictions

 Death Penalty Information Center

 Equal Justice USA

 Truth in

 Working for Change

 Innocence Project 

Journey of Hope (an organization led by murder victim family members)


Amnesty International

Death Penalty Focus

Witness to Innocence

Jeanne Woodford, past San Quinten Warden, current director Death Penalty Focus

Sister Helen Prejean

Snitching:  a comprehensive resource on criminal informants, legal developments, legislation, and news stories.


These are true stories of wrongful convictions

Paradise Lost (1996) *(be aware: some graphic crime scene photographs), Paradise Lost 2(2000), Paradise Lost 3 (2011), HBO, Hand-To-Mouth Production. Documentary, not rated.

Conviction, Kenneth Waters and Betty Ann Waters story. Fox Searchlight pictures(2010, rated R)

Crime After Crime, documentary directed by Yoav Potash, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival January 2011. Purchased by OWN. Some footage was taken at CCWF, where the subject was incarcerated for 26 years. 

I want to Live,  story of the third woman in California to be executed in the gas chamber, (1958), MGM, not rated

The Exonerated, the true stories of six people who had been wrongfully convicted of murder and other offenses, placed on death row. Written by Erik Jensen & Jessica Blank.

At the Death House Door 2008 Documentary, Produced and Directed by Peter Gilbert and Steve James. Not Rated. Exposes capital punishment issues on all levels; legal, moral, and financial.

Reports/ Lectures/ speeches:

Ninth Circuit Judge W. Fletcher, (article in NY times)   (101 page dissent on Cooper case)

Ninth Circuit Judge S Trott, The Use of a Criminal As a Witness: A Special Problem, Lecture Supplement, October 2007 Revision -

California Commission  on the Fair Administration of Justice Report and Recommendations Regarding Informant Testimony.(2007) -

The Snitch System  How Snitch  Testimony Sent Randy Steidl and Other Innocent Americans to Death Row, A Center on Wrongful Convictions Survey, Winter 2004-2005.

Jerry Givens, former Virginia State executioner,

Allen Ault (a former Georgia State prison warden) speaks immediately after  the execution of Troy Davis, Sept. 21, 2011