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Paperback Released, March, 2023

Beyond Innocence
The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt

2024 NC Reads Selection

Shortlisted for the 2024 William Saroyan International Prize in Writing

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....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

“An engaging, heartbreaking read that cautions society and the justice system to handle exonerees with greater care.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“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

"Hunt’s story is one of courage and tragedy. The book is a haunting portrayal of the criminal justice system and its impact on the innocent." —Maurice Possley, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, Slate

"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

With the addition of Beyond Innocence by Phoebe Zerwick, my personal bookshelves hold no fewer than 87 titles about wrongful convictions. Of the lot, none has made my blood boil more than Zerwick’s chronicle of the life and death of Darryl Hunt…meticulously reported and eloquently written, a real page turner, journalism at its best." Rob Warden, National Book Review.

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