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SATURDAY

Nobody gives a shit about defendants in murder cases, and if you’re kin to the alleged beast, you’re just an extension of that scum. Being a member of the family of a defendant or convicted murderer means having conversations through glass or taking collect calls that drain your wallet in a month’s time. No one cares what they go through, but we should, just as we should understand what the inside of a supermax feels like and what lethal injections do to a body. And we should care about what it takes to identify and rectify injustice, as Rachel King illustrates in her mesmerizing new book, Capital Consequences: Families of the Condemned Tell Their Stories. After her son was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, Carolyn Krone remarked: “Looking back, I see that we were very ignorant and naive. We knew Ray was innocent, and we really thought that everything would work out ok-ay. Ray has always been the kind of person who says, ‘I can handle this…Don’t let it change your life.’” Fat chance. It took the family a decade and their life savings to free Ray. It took only seconds for Shakeerah Hameen to watch her by all accounts rehabilitated husband die by lethal injection: “I felt stupid that I was standing there letting them kill my husband. It was unreal. Then they brought in the victim…Hameen looked at us and we locked eyes and he smiled. I started praying…His body lifted up off the table, he gasped.” King reads at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Jason Cherkis)