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September 8, 2020 17 min

This is the story of the killing of John Sharpless. It's the story of a rich white man and the black man (Samuel Johnson) unjustly accused of causing his death. It's a story of money and murder... corruption, and a criminal justice system sorely lacking in justice. It's a case that could have happened yesterday. But, it didn't. It happened 135 years ago.

This episode is excerpted from Stephanie's book, The Killing of John Sharpless: The Pursuit of Justice in Delaware County (History Press, 2013.) For more information on the book or this podcast, visit

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