Author Carol Mersch’s New Audiobook, “Guilty When Black,” is a Gripping Account of How Eight Minutes in the Life of One Black Girl Turns Into a Travesty of Injustice
“‘Guilty When Black’ unfolds the true story of a 23-year-old African American girl,” says Mersch. “In 2013, she left her two nieces alone in their apartment for eight minutes to empty the trash. During the short time she was gone, the oven erupted in flames and the girls died. The tragedy sparked a twisted criminal case against the distraught woman. Within 24 hours she was handcuffed and charged with second-degree murder by prosecutors who argued she willfully abandoned the girls to buy drugs from a neighbor while leaving a pan of grease heating on the stove. She was held in jail for two-and-a-half years on an unpayable $500,000 bond, facing harsh treatment by a jail detention officer.”
According to Mersch, the case was weak. “The supposed drug dealer testified that the woman was not the woman he met that day,” says Mersch. “And copious evidence surfaced that the building’s faulty wiring and defective oven had caused the fire. But the woman’s pro bono attorney never told her about the electrical hazards in the stove and instead pressured her into a plea bargain and a 15-year sentence for child neglect.
“At virtually the same time, three other women accused of comparable child neglect served no jail time. The difference: The women were white.
“The result is a troubling look at justice that is anything but colorblind.”
Published by Audiobook Network, author Carol Mersch’s new audiobook takes readers through the events of the fateful day that changed lives forever. Leaving no stone unturned, Mersch explores the trial and findings, and highlights how the justice system failed in its most critical role in bringing justice for the woman and her nieces due to the racism that permeates every aspect of society.
Listeners can purchase the audiobook edition of “Guilty When Black” by Carol Mersch through Audible, the Apple iTunes store, or Amazon.
Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment in the digital publishing industry. According to The Infinite Dial 2019, 50% of Americans aged 12 and older have listened to an audiobook. This huge growth can be partly attributed to increased listening in cars, which surpassed the home as the #1 audiobook listening location in the 2019 survey. Smart speaker proliferation also bodes well for future listening growth and more mainstream listening.
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