The Sing Sing Files

One Journalist, Six Innocent Men, and a Twenty-Year Fight for Justice

Dan Slepian ,

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The Sing Sing Files: One Journalist, Six Innocent Men, and a Twenty-Year Fight for Justice

About the eBook

An NBC Dateline producer's cinematic account of his two-decade journey navigating the broken criminal justice system to help free six innocent men

In 2002, Dan Slepian, a veteran producer for NBC’s Dateline, received a tip
from a Bronx homicide detective that two men were serving twenty-five years
to life in prison for a 1990 murder they did not commit.

Haunted by what the detective had told him, Slepian began an investigation
of the case that eventually resulted in freedom for the two men and launched
Slepian on a two-decade personal and professional journey into a deeply
flawed justice system fiercely resistant to rectifying—or even acknowledging—
its mistakes and their consequences.

The Sing Sing Files: One Journalist, Six Innocent Men, and a Twenty-Year
Fight for Justice is Slepian’s account of challenging that system. The story
follows Slepian on years of prison visits, court hearings, and street reporting
that led to a series of powerful Dateline episodes and eventually to freedom
for four other men and to an especially deep and lasting friendship with one of
them, Jon-Adrian “JJ” Velazquez. From his cell in Sing Sing, JJ aided Slepian
in his investigations until his own release in 2021 after decades in prison.

Like Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, The Sing Sing Files is a deeply personal
account of wrongful imprisonment and the flaws in our justice system, and a
powerful argument for reckoning and accountability. Slepian’s extraordinary
book, at once painful and full of hope, shines a light on an injustice whose
impact the nation has only begun to confront.

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