Darryl Hunt book cover.png

Paperback Coming, March, 2023

Beyond Innocence
The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt

A deeply reported, gripping narrative of injustice, exoneration, and the crippling impact of incarceration, Beyond Innocence is the dramatic story of Darryl Hunt, imprisoned for years for a
crime he did not commit, which sheds vitally important light on the realities of the American justice system and carceral state.

Praise for Beyond Innocence, The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt

Beyond Innocence is a powerful story that underscores the many injustices in our judicial system and the huge challenge all ex-prisoners face regaining their lives.”—Albert Woodfox, author of Solitary 

“Phoebe Zerwick’s Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt exerts a grip on the reader equal to any true crime nonfiction, but it speaks far beyond that.  I knew Darryl Hunt and many in these pages who championed his cause and his causes.  I saw Darryl regularly for ten of the 32 years covered by this amazing book. I celebrated his freedom from 19 years of unjust incarceration, his nobility of soul, and his achievements for criminal justice reform.  I wept in 2016 when I heard what I believed to be his full sorrow. But Zerwick’s masterful detective work, relentless research, brilliant storytelling, and, more than that, her insights into the dark night and fragile light of the human heart illuminate not only the essential facts but the deepest truths of this profound tragedy. Beyond Innocence is anything but gooey polemic. But sometimes a single human story cracks open our once familiar worlds in ways that we cannot forget, and compels us either to admit that vicious, intentional injustice speaks for us, or to speak for ourselves in a call to higher ground. This story is an opportunity to rethink our lives that we cannot afford to ignore.”—Timothy B. Tyson, bestselling author of The Blood of Emmett Till and Blood Done Sign My Name

“In Beyond Innocence, Phoebe Zerwick provides a gripping account of the life and death of Darryl Hunt, and in the process explains how the trauma endured by those wrongfully convicted is fundamentally at odds with a happily-ever-after ending.  Zerwick’s unflinching, intimate portrait of Hunt, exonerated but never truly free, leaves the reader with a story that is far more complicated and thought-provoking. This book will stay with you.”—Lara Bazelon, author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction and professor, University of San Francisco School of Law

"Your moving and powerful book is truly special. There were times when I had to put it aside momentarily because I could feel the pain that Darryl and so many others experience in a system that is fundamentally racist. Thank you for shining a light on his story and the stories of so many others. There can be no change without truth."

-Judge Gregory Weeks, Retired Superior Court judge and former board member, The Sentencing Project

"Beyond Innocence is beautifully written and also shocking and disturbing. Phoebe Zerwick has crafted a moving story of one man's lifelong fight against radical injustice. She has also produced a lacerating indictment of a deeply flawed American justice system that systematically targets young black men."

-David Zucchino, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Wilmington's Lie

“Beyond Innocence is a singularly important book about the extraordinary costs of a wrongful conviction, put in the larger context of a deeply flawed system that makes such convictions inevitable.”

James E. Coleman, Jr., Director, Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic, Durham, NC