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Social Science Penology

Freeing David McCallum

The Last Miracle of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter

by (author) Ken Klonsky

Chicago Review Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2017
Penology, General, Discrimination & Race Relations, African American Studies
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
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For ten years before Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s death, he and his friend and coauthor Ken Klonsky had been working to help free another wrongfully convicted man, David McCallum. McCallum was eventually exonerated and freed after serving twenty-nine years in prison. This is the story of how Carter and Klonsky, along with a group of committed friends and professionals, managed to secure McCallum’s release. It details their many struggles, from founding an innocence project to take on the case, finding lawyers willing to work pro bono, and hiring a private detective to sift through old evidence and locate original witnesses, to the most difficult part: convincing members of a deeply flawed criminal justice system to reopen a case that would expose their own mistakes when all they wanted to do was ignore the conflicting evidence. A new district attorney willing to reexamine the case, a documentary film, and an op-ed piece in which Carter, on his deathbed, made a plea for McCallum’s release finally turned the tide of justice. 

About the author

Ken Klonsky, co-author of Dr. Rubin Carter’s Eye of the Hurricane, is a former Toronto teacher and writer now living in Vancouver. He works as Director of Media Relations, and advocates for prisoners, at Innocence International, the organization conceived by Dr. Carter to help free wrongly convicted prisoners worldwide. Songs of Aging Children, Klonsky’s collection of short stories about troubled youth, was published in 1992, and Taking Steam, a play co-authored with the late Brian Shein, was staged in New York and Toronto in 1983.

Ken Klonsky's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“I was the judge who granted a writ of habeas corpus to Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter resulting in his freedom after serving nineteen years in prison for a wrongful conviction. After his release we became friends, and he often spoke of his commitment to obtain the release of David McCallum. Freeing David McCallum is the compelling true story of the exoneration of another man wrongly convicted. His miraculous release, after twenty-nine years, demonstrates that fortunately there are those among us who will devote themselves unsparingly to freeing the innocent.” —Judge H. Lee Sarokin, retired

“After you read this gripping tale of a Brooklyn teenager coerced into falsely confessing and freed nearly thirty years later, you will not think about confession evidence or criminal investigations the same way.” —Brandon L. Garrett, author of End of Its Rope: How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice and Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong

Other titles by Ken Klonsky