Everybody knows New Orleans, but nobody knows this New Orleans. At sixteen years old, Dan Bright was the head of a New Orleans drug empire. As his operation grew, it was only a matter of time before he attracted the attention of the criminal justice system, which would stop at nothing—including framing Dan for murder—to get him off the streets. Dan’s capital murder trial lasted only one day. The District Attorney’s office used false testimony and fabricated evidence to lead the jury to their ultimate conclusion: Daniel Bright was guilty and deserved the death penalty. This incredible true story unflinchingly shows the injustice of the legal system, as well as the base corruption on display at Angola prison, where Dan spent ten years fighting his wrongful conviction and struggling for a right supposedly guaranteed to all Americans: a fair trial.
"Gritty and raw, Bright’s narrative is as fascinating as it is disturbing for what it reveals about the dark, racist underside of the American justice system. Compelling reading." —Kirkus Reviews
"First and foremost, it's a cage-rattling exposé of the corrupt criminal justice system of New Orleans. It's also an honest account of criminal life within a major American city."—Scott Neuffer, Foreword Reviews
"A story every New Orleanian should read,"—Susan Larson, The Reading Life
"For those focused on issues surrounding incarceration and injustice, it's an essential read. It throws light on parts of society that are often overlooked and forgotten."—Andru Okun, Antigravity
In 1995, Dan Bright was wrongfully convicted of the murder of Murray Barnes after the prosecutors and the FBI withheld key evidence at Bright's trial. Bright was twenty-six years old at the time. He spent nine years in prison, including four years on death row, before the Louisiana Supreme Court reversed his conviction in 2004.
Justin Nobel is a freelance magazine journalist. His stories have appeared in Newsweek, Time, Oxford American, Tin House and Virginia Quarterly Review. His articles have been selected for publication in Best American Travel Writing 2011, Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014 and Best American Travel Writing 2016. Justin lives in New Orleans.