News - Capital University Law School

Prominent Author to Visit Capital Law

1/29/2019  - 

Award-winning Washington Post investigative journalist Kyle Swenson will visit the Law School on February 21, at noon, to discuss his new book, Good Kids, Bad City: A Story of Race and Wrongful Conviction in America. The book recounts the 1975 convictions of three Cleveland-area African-American men who endured the longest wrongful imprisonment in the United States to end in exoneration.

In the early 1970s, three African-American men—Wiley Bridgeman, Kwame Ajamu, and Rickey Jackson—were accused and convicted of the brutal robbery and murder in Cleveland. The prosecution’s case, which resulted in a combined 106 years in prison for the three men, rested on the more-than-questionable testimony of a pre-teen, Ed Vernon. Almost four decades later, Vernon recanted his testimony, and Bridgeman, Ajamu, and Jackson were released. But while their exoneration may have ended one of American history’s most disgraceful miscarriages of justice, the corruption and decay of the city responsible for their imprisonment remain on trial.

Interweaving the dramatic details of the case with Cleveland’s history—one that, to this day, is fraught with systemic discrimination and racial tension—Swenson’s book reveals how this outrage occurred and why. Good Kids, Bad City: A Story of Race and Wrongful Conviction in America, is a work of astonishing empathy and insight: an immersive exploration of race in America, the struggling Midwest, and how lost lives can be recovered.

In addition to visiting the law School and in an exclusive Gramercy Books Salon@2424 program, Swenson will discuss this historically significant book with Judge Algenon Marbley of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The discussion will take place on Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 7:00 PM at the King Arts Complex, Nicholson Auditorium, 867 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, OH 43203. To purchase a ticket to the event ($10.00), visit Gramercy Books. This event has been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education for approval of 1.00 total CLE hours instruction.

Mr. Swenson is a reporter for The Washington Post. A finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, he is also the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award for Feature Reporting. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, The New Republic, and Longreads. A graduate of Kenyon College, he lives in Washington, D.C.