Valena Beety: Manifesting Justice

Manifesting Justice

Valena Beety: Manifesting Justice

Join us on June 11th as Valena Beety discusses her new book: Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights.

Signed copies of the book will be available to purchase at the talk. Register with Eventbrite here.

Valena Elizabeth Beety is a law professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, and a native of Indianapolis. She is also an innocence litigator, and a former federal prosecutor. Beety has exonerated wrongly convicted clients, founded the West Virginia Innocence Project, obtained presidential grants of clemency for drug offenses, and co-edited a guide to causes of wrongful convictions, The Wrongful Convictions Reader.

She fights for the rights of wrongly convicted people, and to expand the idea of who is “wrongfully convicted” beyond factual innocence. Many people we identify as “criminals” and prosecute are wrongly convicted in our system, over-sentenced for drug offenses, and criminalized for their identities. She explores these topics, and wrongful convictions based on gender and sexual orientation, in her award-winning book Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights.

Manifesting Justice focuses on the shocking story of Valena Beety’s client Leigh Stubbs—a young, queer woman in Mississippi who, because of her sexual orientation, was convicted of a horrific crime she did not commit. Beety weaves Stubbs’s harrowing narrative through the broader story of a broken criminal justice system where defendants—including disproportionate numbers of women of color and queer individuals—are convicted due to racism, prejudice, coerced confessions, and false identifications.

Drawing on interviews with both innocence advocates and wrongfully convicted women, along with Beety’s own experiences as an expert litigator and a queer woman, Manifesting Justice provides a unique outsider/insider perspective. Beety expands our notion of justice to include not just people who are factually innocent, but those who are over-charged, pressured into bad plea deals, and over-sentenced. The result is a riveting and timely book that not only advocates for reforming the conviction process—it will transform our very ideas of crime and punishment, what innocence is, and who should be free.

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Jun 11 2023


2:00 pm


Indy Reads
1066 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis, IN, 46203