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Photo Essay: The Innocents

Photographs give a voice to our nation's wrongfully convicted.


Taryn Simon’s The Innocents collects photographs and interviews with the wrongfully imprisoned, exposing a broken judicial system where corrupt prosecutors, sleeping lawyers, bent cops, and jailhouse snitches subvert the most fundamental principles of justice. While mugshots are often used as tools of condemnation, Simon turns the camera around to photograph the wrongfully convicted in locations crucial to their legal cases: scenes of arrest or misidentification, alibi locations, or even scenes of the crime. Simon’s interviewees confront the paradox of innocence and imprisonment, the inability to recover stolen years, and states’ unconscionable refusals to compensate them or ease their traumatic transitions to civilian life.


The Innocents book coverThis photo essay was adapted from The Innocents © 2003/2011 Taryn Simon. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery; published by Umbrage Editions. Photographs and Interviews by Taryn Simon. Commentary by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck. Support YES! when you buy here from an independent bookstore.

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