The Innocent Man [ ebook ] by John Grisham

The Innocent Man

review The Innocent Man 103 With no physical evidence the prosecution's case was built on junk science and the testimony of jailhouse snitches and convicts Dennis Fritz was found guilty and given a life sentence Ron Williamson was sent to death row If you believe that in America you are innocent until proven guilty this book will shock you If you believe in the death penalty this book will disturb you If you believe the criminal justice system is fair this book will infuriate yo. So I finished this book late last night and since then I ve been pondering what I was going to write in this review How did I feel about this book I still don t know On the one hand I feel like it should get a high rating from me for telling the story of how fucked up Oklahoma s justice system was and how unrepentantly it stole years and lives from innocent men For seemingly no reason I feel like it should get all the stars for bestselling author John Grisham to have gotten that story the kind of attention it deserves and all the light shined on it that can be But at the same time I have read many other bestselling author John Grisham books and this was arguably not one of his best written I have read uite a few other true crime books and this was not one of the best written of those either It jumped around between timelines and people could have used a bit structure as far as the chapters and sections went probably could have used a timeline and a character list to help track the plethora of lawyers inmates police etc all traipsing around the story But my main issue with this is that it read like a highschool report with all of the immature snark one would expect when the irritated teenager didn t really care for the subject they were assigned And granted derision was warranted when it came to the investigation and the prosecutor and the judge who let this travesty of a trial proceed and the judges who upheld it on appeal and all the other people and systems that failed or were trampled on along the way to get a conviction with no evidence at all But the issue that I take with it is that it no longer feels like reporting and journalism it feels like propaganda Look how evil cruel the prosecution was vs this is what happened and this is why that SHOULDN T have happened and this was how it was wrongI expected better from Grisham He used to be a lawyer and he still IS a writer so he should be an expert at objectively explaining the facts of the case the law and why it matters and in this case how the system failed these men and do so with skill Let the reader handle the anger and derision on behalf of these guys you just present the facts for them Or if you MUST include it put it in your intro or author notes or something Also it annoyed me that this was called The Innocent Man as though only one person had their life ruined There were two innocent men convicted of this murder In addition to that two OTHER presumably innocent men were convicted in Ada on no evidence without even a body of abduction and murder of another woman And several other men were mentioned with similar stories of wrongful conviction but Grisham decided to title this in the singular as though the other men weren t innocent victims of injustice as well All that being said it wasn t a bad book I read it pretty uickly though that was likely because I wanted to know if they were going to be freed and get justice I needed to know what would happen All in all I think this book had serious flaws but it was a story that needed telling and so I m not sorry it was written This kind of thing happens all the time still though hopefully not UITE so blatantly Prosecutors are supposed to work for the people let s not forget If they are concerned with their conviction rate than their accuracy that s a problem we should all be concerned about Not just because it could happen to anyone to be wrongfully accused and convicted but also because that leaves real perpetrators free Free to rape or murder or assault or whatever again We should all be concerned with making sure that convictions are based on solid evidence and truth not a desire for a uick conviction statistic

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review The Innocent Man 103 Gs and women He began to show signs of mental illness Unable to keep a job he moved in with his mother and slept twenty hours a day on her sofa In 1982 a 21 year old cocktail waitress in Ada named Debra Sue Carter was raped and murdered and for five years the police could not solve the crime For reasons that were never clear they suspected Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz The two were finally arrested in 1987 and charged with capital murder. This is John Grisham s first work of non fiction It is the story of Ron Williamsona minor league baseball player who had dreams of playing in the major leagueHis life didn t go according to plan Leaving his baseball careerhe came back home to a life of drinkdrugs and womanizingWhen a waitress was murderedhe alongwith another man was arrested He would go on to spend eleven years on death rowbefore being reprievedIt is the story of one man but is also a reminder of how many innocent people pay the penalty for crimes they did not commitGrisham tells the story with empathy and compassion Howeverthere is way too much detail about Williamson s life At times it gets boring As it is a work of non fictionit also made me wonder if Grisham s research is entirely accurate

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review The Innocent Man 103 John Grisham's first work of nonfiction an exploration of small town justice gone terribly awry is his most extraordinary legal thriller yetIn the major league draft of 1971 the first player chosen from the State of Oklahoma was Ron Williamson When he signed with the Oakland A's he said goodbye to his hometown of Ada and left to pursue his dreams of big league glory Six years later he was back his dreams broken by a bad arm and bad habits drinking dru. 35 stars In this non fiction book John Grisham tells the shocking and disheartening story of two men who were wrongfully convicted of rape and murder in OklahomaAuthor John GrishamRon Williamson born in 1953 grew up in a loving Christian family in Ada Oklahoma He was a star on his high school baseball team and played for several professional minor league teams hoping to make it to the majors Ron Williamson on his high school baseball team Ron Williamson played minor league baseballInjuries and health problems shattered these dreams however and a short unsuccessful marriage added to Ron s woes By his mid 20s Ron was back in Ada carousing drinking heavily philandering and starting to show signs of mental illness At about this time he became friends with Dennis Fritz who became his partying buddy Ron WilliamsonDennis FritzThen in 1982 a young woman named Debbie Carter was brutally raped and murdered in her apartment in Ada Debbie CarterThe police did a less than thorough investigation and in a major instance of bungling gave a pass to Glen Gore who had been harassing Debbie and was known to be violent toward women It turns out the police or less ignored Glen as a suspect because a few cops were doing drug deals with Glen at the time Glen GoreIn any case the investigation dragged on and finally in 1988 Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz were arrested and charged with the rape and murder of Debbie Carter There was no credible physical evidence against the men but prosecutor Bill Peterson lined up and coached a series of mendacious jailhouse snitches which resulted in convictions Mug shot of Ron WilliamsonProsecutor Bill PetersonLaw enforcement individuals manipulated evidence and witnesses to get convictions Dennis was sentenced to life in prison and Ron was given the death penalty Grisham gives a detailed account of the investigation and a play by play description of the trials and it s frightening to see the lengths Peterson and the police would go to to secure confessions and convictions Grisham then details Ron s years on death row as his lawyers file appeal after appeal By this time Ron was severely mentally ill as well as prison facility that was boiling in summer and freezing in winter with nasty guards who delighted in tormenting disturbed RonOklahoma State PenitentiaryDeath RowRon Williamson s mental health deteriorated in prisonRon Williamson aged prematurely in prisonTo cut to the chase twelve years after Ron and Dennis s convictions DNA evidence showed that the imprisoned men were innocent and that Glen Gore was guilty Ron and Dennis were released from prison but DA Peterson in a major demonstration of stubborn hubris refused to apologize In fact he indicated that he still thought of the two men as suspects and might even retry them if he found evidence Of course this preyed on Ron s already troubled mind Nevertheless six years later Gore was finally convicted of Pamela s murder Dennis Fritz was exoneratedRon Williamson was freedGlen Gore was convictedThe book is interesting and informativebut also sad and disheartening I felt angry that the Ada police and DA Peterson were not held to account for their outrageous behavior In fact a google search revealed that Peterson tried to sue Grisham and other people who wrote books about the case claiming they libelled him as if However Peterson was routinely unsuccessful with these lawsuitsOn the negative side the book is overly long and goes into too much detail about every aspect of Ron s life Grisham details all of Ron s childhoodteen sports he played baseball and basketball his antics to get his parents and sister to pay for nice clothes a car and expensive sports camps Ron s many unsuccessful experiences with minor league baseball teams his injuries and rehabilitations Ron s bar hopping and picking up women his horrible years on death row the round of talk shows and celebrations when Ron and Dennis are released from prison and finally Ron s ongoing physical decline and eventual death in a nursing home It s just a little too muchStill this cautionary tale about justice gone wrong is worth reading and instructiveYou can follow my reviews at

  • Hardcover
  • 360
  • The Innocent Man
  • John Grisham
  • English
  • 21 February 2019
  • 9780385517232