Kerry Max Cook

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Books by Kerry Max Cook

  • Put on Death Row for a crime he didn't commit
  • Author, Lecturer & Lobbyist

Kerry Cook was an innocent man who became one of the longest tenured death row prisoners in U.S. history to be freed. Cook served over 20 years in Texas’ notorious death house for a 1977 rape and murder he did not commit. His innocence was investigated and then documented by an outside non-profit New Jersey based organization founded by James McCloskey named Centurion Ministries. Cook’s story is remarkably told in his critically acclaimed memoir Chasing Justice: My Story of Freeing Myself After Two Decades on Death Row for a Crime I Didn’t Commit.The book received the 2008 PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award, from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

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Media files by Kerry Max Cook

  • The Today Show
  • Nightline
  • Hollywood
  • Fox 26 Houston

  • The Inequities of Capital Punishment as a Human Rights Violation Against the Convicted Innocent
  • Learning How to Cope with Today's Adversities: Using the Tools That Enabled Cook to Overcome the Worst Death Row in America
  • The Power of Forgiveness: The Mental and Emotional Healing Power of Surrendering to Forgiveness
  • How to Teach Others the Empowering Principal of Believing in Oneself
  • Keynote Speakers
  • Motivational

Kerry Cook was an innocent man who became one of the longest tenured death row prisoners in U.S. history to be freed. Cook served over 20 years in Texas’ notorious death house for a 1977 rape and murder he did not commit. His innocence was investigated and then documented by an outside non-profit New Jersey based organization founded by James McCloskey named Centurion Ministries. Cook’s story is remarkably told in his critically acclaimed memoir Chasing Justice: My Story of Freeing Myself After Two Decades on Death Row for a Crime I Didn’t Commit.The book received the 2008 PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award, from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Cook’s historical legal sage was documented by The Dallas Morning News in numerous award-winning, front-page investigative articles, beginning with the headline, “Inmate Was Railroaded.” the Dallas Morning News would go on to win the Texas Bar Association’s prestigious “Silver Gavel Award” for their journalistic investigative work from 1988 until 1992.

The loudest shout of all would be indisputable DNA scientific evidence, coupled with the public record of egregious police and prosecutorial misconduct that spanned 22 years and nearly four criminal trials, which excluded Cook as the semen donor and exonerated him. His story is known as the worst example of police and prosecutorial misconduct in Texas history.

Cook currently serves as a Senior Justice Fellow with the Open Society Institute, an author, a lecturer, a lobbyist, and father. As a lobbyist, Cook was active in the 77th Texas Legislature seeking to bring about reform in the criminal justice system.

Cook lectures both nationally and internationally on a variety of topics, ranging from the inequities of Capital Punishment as a human rights violation against the convicted innocent, to teaching others how to overcome adversity and loss. He has lent his expertise before the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, France, and addressed the legal organization Amicus in London, England, which are Barristers in training to become future American death penalty litigators. His wrongful imprisonment is one of six stories told in The Exonerated, which was an acclaimed off-Broadway play and was later adapted into an original Court TV movie of the same name.

Each year, Cook and his son travel to Switzerland. There he serves as a role model and guest-speaker to teenagers attending Junior Leadership University, funded by the Young President's Organization (YPO).

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