"Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA" raises provocative questions about the US legal system and the death penalty. It also portrays the plight of Kirk Bloodsworth, who, because of his valiant effort to help make DNA testing available to all prisoners, is now described as a modern-day hero. Since his release in 1993, twelve other inmates on death row have been exonerated by DNA. Bloodsworth was wrongfully convicted in 1984 for the gruesome rape and murder of Dawn Hamilton, a nine-year-old girl in Baltimore County, Maryland. When the Judge sentenced him to death, the courtroom erupted into applause, believing justice had been served. Nine years later, after serving time in one of the harshest prisons in the country, Bloodsworth was set free based on a new procedure called DNA fingerprinting - a procedure he came across while reading a true crime book borrowed from the prison library. For ten years after Bloodsworth's release, Baltimore County refused to run DNA tests on key crime-scene evidence. When they finally did, a match was immediately found.
The Identity of the DNA match adds even more irony and a surprising twist to Bloodsworth's amazing story. DC attorney and novelist Tim Junkin masterfully depicts Bloodsworth's traumatic, ultimately inspiring twenty-year journey.