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HLS Library Book Talk: Barred: Why the Innocent Can’t Get Out of Prison

January 31, 2024

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

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Langdell Hall; 232/233 Langdell

Book cover, black and white photograph of prison bars.

Join the HLS Library on Wednesday January 31 at 12:30pm for a HLS Library Book Talk in HLS Library – Langdell Hall 232/233 seminar rooms and on Zoom. This event features a discussion on Barred: Why the Innocent Can’t Get Out of Prison by author and HLS Visiting Professor Daniel Medwed in conversation with HLS Professor Alexandra Natapoff. This event is free and will be recorded. The in-person event is open to all Harvard ID holders, the livestream is open to all.

Register to attend in-person, Harvard ID required. Register by January 24 for a complimentary lunch. Registrations made after January 24 do not guarantee lunch.

Register to attend virtually via Zoom Webinars, open to the public. Livestream does not include lunch.

If you, or an event participant, require disability-related accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services at

More about the book from the publisher:
“Thousands of innocent people are behind bars in the United States. But proving their innocence and winning their release is nearly impossible.

In Barred, legal scholar Daniel S. Medwed argues that our justice system’s stringent procedural rules are largely to blame for the ongoing punishment of the innocent. Those rules guarantee criminal defendants just one opportunity to appeal their convictions directly to a higher court. Afterward, the wrongfully convicted can pursue only a few narrow remedies. Even when there is strong evidence of a miscarriage of justice, rigid guidelines, bias, and deference toward lower courts all too often prevent exoneration.

Offering clear explanations of legal procedures alongside heart-wrenching stories of their devastating impact, Barred exposes how the system is stacked against the innocent and makes a powerful call for change.”

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January 31, 2024, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

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