What happens when America’s judicial system, designed to protect the innocent, convicts the wrong man and sentences him to life in prison? Uriah Courtney was incarcerated over eight years—for a crime he did not commit. But God set him free, spiritually and physically, to new life inside his heart and outside razor wire.
Exoneree by Uriah Courtney with Glenda Faye Mathes relates how badly the judicial system can go wrong, but how intensely a dedicated few seek justice. It depicts God’s protection amid the horrors of incarceration. Although it shows dark depravity, it shines with divine transformation.
A sensitive man who loved the outdoors and his family, Uriah viewed life imprisonment as a death sentence. Yet God worked through this trauma to bring him new life. Uriah’s transparent narrative transcends most jailhouse conversion accounts, as he confesses how becoming a Christian helped him cope in some ways but didn’t solve every problem. Even after his release and exoneration through God’s providence and the efforts of the California Innocence Project, Uriah faced unexpected challenges. In his warm and personal voice, Uriah describes how focusing on Christ helps him to continue overcoming bitterness and anger often associated with trauma. And that’s a story everyone needs to read.
Uriah Courtney’s book, Exoneree, is a testament to the human spirit. Uriah was wrongfully accused and convicted of a horrific crime and sentenced to life in prison, where he remained for eight years. This is a compelling story about the consequences of a faulty justice system and one man’s fight to remain alive and ultimately find peace and forgiveness for the people who convicted him. Through the perseverance of Justin Brooks and the California Innocence Project and the evolving use and accuracy of DNA in cases like this, Uriah was exonerated and released from prison and began rebuilding his life. Surviving years of wrongful incarceration is truly a battle of life and death, finding purpose and happiness on the outside is yet another.
—John J. Christian, President and CEO, The Global Education Network
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