Martin D. Yant began his career in 1971 at The Pittsburgh Press  after graduating from Georgetown University. From 1972 to 1978, he served in  several key editing positions at the Chicago Daily News and Chicago  Sun-Times. In 1978, Yant became editor of the Mansfield, Ohio, News  Journal. An award-winning investigation Yant launched there led to the  conviction of the sheriff and seven deputies; the resignation of the county  coroner and the closing of his private medical lab; and the defeat of several  other elected officials. Articles about Yant's crusading journalism in  Mansfield appeared in The New York Times; Time magazine;  and many other publications -- some as far away as France and Russia.  

From 1981 to 1991, Yant was commentary editor and a columnist at The   Columbus Dispatch, where editorial differences prompted Yant to resign in  1991 to devote full time to independent journalism and investigations of  possible wrongful convictions. Since then, evidence Yant developed has aided in  the exoneration of 9 innocent inmates, two of whom were originally  sentenced to death. Two others were released after governors expressed doubt  about their guilt and made them immediately eligible for parole.  

The licensed private investigator has discussed wrongful  convictions and other forms of injustice on numerous TV and radio talk  shows and had his investigations featured on NBC-TV’s Unsolved  Mysteries, The CBS Evening News, 48 Hours, A&E’s  American Justice, the Discovery Channel and a German TV network.   Yant also was a consultant for Final Appeal, an NBC-TV series on  wrongful convictions, in 1992. That same year, an exposé on the Franklin County  Sheriff’s Department he wrote for Columbus Alive was credited with  causing the electoral defeat of the powerful incumbent sheriff, Earl  Smith. In 1994, the evidence Yant helped develop on a jailhouse beating  death in Columbus led to the largest civil-rights settlement in Ohio history. In  1996, while representing himself, Yant won a public-records case against  the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation in the Ohio Supreme Court. A  series of articles Yant co-wrote with Bob Fitrakis on the John Byrd  death-penalty case for Columbus Alive won a statewide  journalism award in 2002. Yant also has written five books:

*  Presumed Guilty: When Innocent People Are Wrongly Convicted  (Prometheus, 1991) shows how carelessness, investigations that fit facts to  theories, the use of long-discredited investigative techniques, prejudice and  the desire of police and prosecutors to “win” at any price cause thousands of  mistaken convictions for serious crimes every year. An August 2000 review of all  books on wrongful convictions written in the last 100 years in Justice  Denied: The Magazine for the Wrongly Convicted pronounced Presumed  Guilty “the most readable, [which] in no detracts from its wealth of  information.”  

* Desert Mirage: The True Story of the Gulf War (Prometheus,  1991) documents how the Bush administration deceived Americans into supporting  the pursuit of power disguised as the pursuit of principle. Kirkus  Reviews called the book “a carefully documented, scathing indictment of the  Persian Gulf War . . . in the best tradition of contrarian investigative  journalism.” Foreword by Senator John Glenn, who called Yant “a craftsman of  meticulous research, insightful analysis and unflinching conclusions.”  

* Rotten to the Core: Crime, Sex and Corruption in Johnny  Appleseed’s Hometown (Public Eye, 1994), a personal account of what Time  called a “painful victory” by a “persistent editor” over corruption in a typical  American town. “ Every citizen . . . ought to read this book,” Steve Allen wrote  in his foreword. Added Akron Beacon Journal columnist Steve Love:  “[Yant] gives journalists a good name, serving as a counterweight to the  profession’s often poor standing in public opinion polls.”  

* Tin Star Tyrants: America’s Crooked Sheriffs (Public Eye,  1995) unmasks those who use their tin stars as a license to cheat, steal, frame  suspects, beat and kill. “This eye-opening exposé . . . is a powerful reminder  of the importance of a free press,” Publisher’s Weekly said. "The  better stories crackle with a sense of small-town America not much changed since  Dashiell Hammett’ s Red Harvest."  

* Rotten to the Core 2: More Crime, Sex and Corruption in Johnny  Appleseed’s Hometown (Public Eye, 2003), an updated and greatly expanded  personal account of Yant’s battle against corruption in a typical American town.  The final chapter tells how Yant’s investigations since leaving Mansfield, Ohio,  have convinced him that corruption is a widespread cancer on America’s soul. "If  you care about how our public officials carry out their duties, a copy of  Rotten to the Core 2 deserves a prominent spot on your library  shelves." -- Bob Powers, The Marietta  Times

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