26 Sept 2020

, , , , ,

Book Review / The Innocent Man by John Grisham

John Grisham's first work of nonfiction, an exploration of small town justice gone terribly awry, is his most extraordinary legal thriller yet.

In 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, drugs, 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.

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 you.

Published:     10th October 2006
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




Now this was an eye opener, for sure!  Of course, I am intrigued about each and every novel written by John Grisham but this one I was very intrigued to read and learn more.  I have not yet watched the Netflix documentary series, but I certainly will be doing now.  I always like to read the book before watching the movie/documentary etc as in most cases the book is always better!  

In this true story, we follow Ron Williamson from his early days being drafted right through to being convicted of the rape and murder of a waitress and then later on what happens in court.  

Yes, Ron Williamson had a lot of difficulties and issues in his life but being convicted in the way that he had to experience, he should not have had to have gone through all of that.  It was obvious from the very beginning that it was not 'innocent until proven guilty', which is a basic human right.   Ron's case was prejudiced right from the very beginning and it was obvious that he was not going to be taken seriously or believed to be innocent by most people, including those involved in the court case!

This book is definately an eye opener into what goes on behind the scenes and I am shocked and how many more possible innocent people are sitting in jail right now?!