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Framing Innocence: A Mother's Photographs, a Prosecutor's Zeal, and a Small Town's Response
     

Framing Innocence: A Mother's Photographs, a Prosecutor's Zeal, and a Small Town's Response

by Lynn Powell
 

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This nationally acclaimed book tells the shocking true story of how photographs taken by an amateur photographer and mother became the center of a disturbing legal battle that galvanized a community and challenged the legal system charged with protecting, not harming, children.

When Cynthia Stewart dropped off eleven rolls of film at a drugstore near her home,

Overview


This nationally acclaimed book tells the shocking true story of how photographs taken by an amateur photographer and mother became the center of a disturbing legal battle that galvanized a community and challenged the legal system charged with protecting, not harming, children.

When Cynthia Stewart dropped off eleven rolls of film at a drugstore near her home, it didn’t occur to her that two snapshots of her eight-year-old daughter would cause the county prosecutor to arrest her, take her away in handcuffs, threaten to remove her child from her home, and charge her with crimes that carried the possibility of sixteen years in prison.

Framing Innocence brilliantly probes the many questions raised: when does a photograph of a naked child cross the line from innocent snapshot to child porn? When does a prosecution cross the line from vigorous to overzealous? When does the parent, and when does the state, know best?

Written by poet Lynn Powell, a neighbor of Cynthia Stewart’s, this riveting and beautifully told story plumbs the perfect storm of events that put a loving family in a small American town at risk.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Beautifully written… a page turner.”
Slate

“[A] well-written, absorbing book.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“[T]horoughly and fairly reported.”
The Wall Street Journal

Framing Innocence restores the truth of a family’s life.”
—Sally Mann, photographer and author of At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women and Immediate Family

Publishers Weekly
Poet Powell (The Zones of Paradise) unravels the protracted legal battle over a mother's seemingly harmless photograph and the uproar it caused. In 1999, Cynthia Stewart and her partner, David Perrotta, lived with their eight-year-old daughter, Nora, in Oberlin, Ohio. Since Nora's birth, Cynthia had regularly photographed her, both clothed and unclothed. When someone at the lab developing her film found a photo of Nora in the tub, rinsing off with the shower nozzle, the police were alerted. Cynthia was arrested on suspicion of child pornography and eventually charged with two felonies by prosecutor Greg White, who was known for his hard-nosed approach. Powell, whose son was Nora's friend, spearheaded the town's effort to support Cynthia and David through the emotional--and financial--stresses of the legal fight, which soon included threats from Children Services to remove Nora from the home. Pinning down a definition for obscenity is notoriously tricky, and Powell is smart to leave all but the most basic points of the legal wrangling out of her account, which is the compelling story of a mother who stood by her principles and the community that shored her up.(Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595587145
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
09/06/2011
Pages:
310
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author


Lynn Powell is the author of two books of poetry, Old and New Testaments and The Zones of Paradise. She lives with her family in Oberlin, Ohio.

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