Tuesday, Aspen Words and the Pitkin County Library host a discussion about mass incarceration and criminal justice reform. It’s the culmination of a community read of “An American Marriage,” which won this year’s Aspen Words Literary Prize.
The novel explores the criminal justice system through the eyes of an African-American man whose relationships are upended when he’s jailed for a crime he didn’t commit.
Tuesday's discussion looks at why the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The panel features legal experts Meryl Chertoff, executive director of The Aspen Institute Justice and Society program, and Jennifer Wherry, director of Alpine Legal Services, as well as Anne-Marie Moyes, director of The Korey Wise Innocence Project at the University of Colorado, which works to overturn wrongful convictions in the state.
Moyes says wrongful convictions happen disproportionately to people of color or poor people.
"But they also happen to people who live in more affluent communities who end up becoming a police target or a suspect and are wrongly convicted of a crime," she said.
The discussion begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Pitkin County administration building.