BOOKS: Lethal Rejection--Stories on Crime and Punishment

A new book, Lethal Rejection: Stories on Crime and Punishment, edited and written in part by American University criminologist Robert Johnson and student Sonia Tabriz, features an array of fiction and poetry on crime and punishment written by prisoners, academics, and students of criminology. The book includes a number of stories about capital punishment. Jocelyn Pollock, Professor of Criminal Justice at Texas State University, writes in the preface, “[H]umans have always used fiction to instruct, enlighten and communicate. Stories take us to places we haven’t been; they help us to understand people who are not like us. In this book, the authors use fiction to convey the reality of prison.” She describes the book’s poetry, prose and plays as methods to “take the reader into the ‘reality’ of prison and the justice system—not through facts and figures, but through the tears and screams, blood and pain of the people chewed up by it.” Todd Clear, a Professor of Criminal Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, writes, “The book makes us encounter the lives of the confined in a way I have not experienced in any other book about prison life.” The book may be purchased here.

(R. Johnson, S. Tabriz, “Lethal Rejection: Stories on Crime and Punishment,” Carolina Academic Press, 2009). See Books.