Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA

Guest: Tim Junkin.

In 1984, Kirk Bloodsworth was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl. Determined to escape the ruling, he found a lawyer willing to fight for a new technique to be used for evidence that would prove Bloodsworth innocent. After nine years in one of the country's toughest prisons, he became the first death row inmate in America to be exonerated by DNA. Our guest today on Focus, novelist Tim Junkin, tells the full story in his book Bloodsworth.

Dark Light: Electricity and Anxiety from the Telegraph to the X-ray

Guest: Linda Simon.

More than thirty years after Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, barely ten percent of American homes were wired for electricity. At the same time, electrotherapy emerged as a popular medical treatment for everything from depression to digestive problems. Why did Americans welcome electricity into their bodies, but not their homes? Today on Focus, Linda Simon joins us to talk about her new book Dark Light and its use of journalism and fiction to explore public anxiety and awe over electricity.

Bad for Us: The Lure of Self-Harm

Guest: John Portman.

Why do so many people do things that are clearly against their best interests? John Portman, author of Bad for Us, says that both self-control and losing control can be acts of self-definition. He says that in doing something that society regards as bad for us, we are testing the limits of who we are. Today on Focus, Portman joins us to discuss how and why people can be their own worst enemies.