Back From The Dead: One woman’s search for the men who walked off America’s death row is the story of 589 former death row inmates who, through a lottery of fate, were given a second chance at life in 1972 when the death penalty was abolished. Joan Cheever, a former editor of the National Law Journal, who also represented a death row inmate in Texas, traveled the country interviewing inmates who had been condemned to death but whose sentences were reduced to life when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in Furman v. Georgia in 1972.

In addition to telling the stories of these inmates, and offering Cheever’s own reflections in doing this research, the book contains valuable statistics on the 322 of 589 condemned inmates who were eventually released on parole. (Today, most capital offenders who are not given the death penalty are sentenced to life without parole.)
(John Wiley & Sons 2006). See Books and Life Without Parole. See also the Web site Back from the Dead.