Justice by DNA Evidence: One Maryland One Book is Back!

August 24th, 2018

What if everyone in the state of Maryland read the same book? That’s the idea behind One Maryland, One Book, an initiative started by Maryland Humanities. This year’s book is “Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA Evidence” by Tim Junkin. Set in Maryland, it is a true crime exploration of an issue that affects many individuals and families in the United States.

After the horrible 1984 death of young Dawn Hamilton in Baltimore County, law enforcement was pressed to find the killer. But the process was rushed, and flawed, and Kirk Bloodsworth was unfairly charged with murder, and given the death sentence.

Bloodsworth insisted upon his innocence and studied as much as about criminal justice as his prison library could offer. It was there he learned about the new science of DNA testing. His lawyer petitioned for its use, and Bloodsworth was proved innocent. His exoneration was the first of its kind. Since then, DNA evidence has set many more wrongfully imprisoned inmates free.

If you’re a true crime fan, and love podcasts or television series such as “Serial” or “Making a Murderer,” or you’re interested in regional history, you may be interested in “Bloodsworth.” Cecil County Public Library is hosting 8 discussions that you can join throughout September, including an online book discussion on Sunday, September 30th on the Facebook CCPL Readers Group. You can access the group through the main CCPL Facebook page.

For more local history, check out “Cold Cases of Cecil County” at the Perryville Branch on Tuesday, September 18th at 7 PM. Local historian Mike Dixon will talk about local homicide cases, their effects on the surrounding community, and if—and how—they were solved by law enforcement.

For book discussion dates or to sign up for any event, check our calendar online at cecil.ebranch.info! To start reading “Bloodsworth” immediately, log on to hoopladigital.com and sign up with your library card and PIN. You can download the e-book to your device right away. Stop by or call 410-996-5600 x481 if you need any assistance.


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One Maryland, One Book – Join the Conversation

September 8th, 2014

distanceCalling all readers across the state!

One Maryland One Book is the only statewide community reading program which brings people from all over the state and different walks of life together to discuss a book. This year’s selection, inspired by the “American Dream,” is “The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande. The author vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years in this “compelling….unvarnished, resonant” (Book Page) story of a childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries.

As her parents make the dangerous trek across the Mexican border to “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are forced into the already overburdened household of their stern grandmother. When their mother at last returns, Reyna prepares for her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father.

Not only has it been a pleasure to curl up on my front porch and read this book, I have also been inspired to read similar books, other memoirs that highlight immigrant journeys into America. “Of Plymouth Plantation” by William Bradford is one book that I picked up as a result of my new-found interest in immigration stories. Written by the leader of the Plymouth Colony, this book describes the journey of the pilgrims from 1608, across the Atlantic via the Mayflower, until 1647 when Plymouth had been settled.

While looking into this genre of literature, I have found books that range from the Mayflower, to Brooklyn, to the Wild West and each one touches on a different aspect of what it means to come to America. The Elkton Central Library currently has a display highlighting immigration stories, so come on in and check one out! And while you’re at it, sign up for one of our discussions of “The Distance Between Us.”

One Maryland, One Book copies are available at Cecil County Public Library branches and free to keep while supplies last. Pick up a book and join the Elkton Central Library book discussion Thursday, September 11 at 6:30 PM or the Perryville Branch Library on Thursday, September 25 at 7pm. Call your local branch to register.

One Maryland One Book, Maryland’s statewide reading and discussion program, is a program of the Maryland Humanities Council and is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Maryland State Department of Education, BG&E, Wells Fargo, and M&T.

What’s your favorite American Dream story?


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