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Oprah Winfrey has chosen a California death row inmate’s autobiography — in which he proclaims his innocence — as her influential book club’s next read, she announced Tuesday.
The move was sure to bring immense attention to — and spur sales of — Jarvis Jay Masters’ book, “That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row,” which was first published in 2009 and recounts Masters’ traumatic childhood, his life in prison and his discovery of Buddhism behind bars.
The selection also shines a spotlight on Masters’ ongoing legal battle to overturn his conviction and death sentence in the murder of a correctional officer at San Quentin State Prison in 1985. Masters’ claims of innocence, and new evidence to support them, are set to be heard for the first time in federal court next month, after being rejected in state courts.
In announcing the selection on “CBS Mornings,” Winfrey said her intention was “to expose the story” and to let people know that there are people on death row “for whom there has been a miscarriage of justice.”