The powerful, poignant story of love, courage, and redemption from death row, where an indomitable woman challenged corruption in order to free her husband.
When TV reporter Jodie Sinclair went to the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as the Death House at Angola, in 1981, she expected to report about the death penalty and leave. She never expected to fall in love. Billy Sinclair was an inmate at Angola, sent there for an accidental murder during a robbery-gone-wrong. After a trial which was skewed against him and sentenced to life behind bars, he saw first-hand the corruption and abuse rife in the criminal justice system, and he began an unrelenting crusade for reform. When the pair married by proxy a year after meeting, Jodie took up Billy’s fight.
From then on, she lived with one foot in the outside world and one in the complex and dehumanizing bureaucracy of the prison world. This incredible memoir tracks her heroic twenty-five-year fight—through Billy’s health concerns, her own professional setbacks for her association with a criminal, and a pardons scandal and FBI investigation that revealed corruption in the criminal justice system leading all the way to the governor’s office which put a target on Billy’s back—to save her husband from dying behind bars. It is the uplifting true story of a woman who stood by her man, and in doing so, exposed the horrors of our criminal justice system and became a voice for all those who have loved ones behind bars.
Praise for A Life in the Balance: The Billy Wayne Sinclair Story
"A numbing tale of crime, punishment, and redemption."—The New York Times Book Review
"[A] blistering memoir . . . This is a powerful tale, and readers will be shaken by the sorrow, greed, and corruption they encounter within it."—Publishers Weekly
"A . . . vivid account of life beyond the bounds of decency."—Kirkus Reviews
"There are plenty of academic studies detailing the inadequacies of the US criminal justice system. This is the inside story: the devastating tale of 35 years in Louisiana's prisons for a homicide that prosecutorial misconduct turned into a capital crime. . . . Sinclair's story puts a human face on the mind-numbing statistics about the millions of Americans whose lives are defined by jails and prisons."—Chicago Review
"By his actions, by his conduct, and by his personality, Billy Wayne Sinclair has convinced a lot of people that he has paid his debt to society and that he should now be released, and with A Life in the Balance: The Billy Wayne Sinclair Story he will no doubt convince many more."—The Lawyer's Bookshelf