Framing Innocence: A Mother's Photographs, a Prosecutor's Zeal, and a Small Town's Response

Lynn Powell (Author)


This nationally acclaimed book tells the shocking true story of how photographs taken by an amateur photographer and mother became the center of a disturbing legal battle that galvanized a community and challenged the legal system charged with protecting, not harming, children.

When Cynthia Stewart dropped off eleven rolls of film at a drugstore near her home, it didn't occur to her that two snapshots of her eight-year-old daughter would cause the county prosecutor to arrest her, take her away in handcuffs, threaten to remove her child from her home, and charge her with crimes that carried the possibility of sixteen years in prison.

Framing Innocence brilliantly probes the many questions raised: when does a photograph of a naked child cross the line from innocent snapshot to child porn? When does a prosecution cross the line from vigorous to overzealous? When does the parent, and when does the state, know best?

Written by poet Lynn Powell, a neighbor of Cynthia Stewart's, this riveting and beautifully told story plumbs the perfect storm of events that put a loving family in a small American town at risk.

Product Details

$17.95  $16.51
New Press
Publish Date
September 06, 2011
5.2 X 0.8 X 7.7 inches | 0.75 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Lynn Powell is the author of two books of poetry, Old and New Testaments and The Zones of Paradise. She lives with her family in Oberlin, Ohio.


"Beautifully written... a page turner."

"[A] well-written, absorbing book."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"[T]horoughly and fairly reported."
--The Wall Street Journal

"Framing Innocence restores the truth of a family's life."
--Sally Mann, photographer and author of At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women and Immediate Family