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The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

by

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 As, 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.

Review:

"Grisham has written both an American tragedy and his strongest legal thriller yet, all the more gripping because it happens to be true. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Compared with other works in its genre, The Innocent Man is less spectacular than sturdy. It is a reminder not only of how propulsively Mr. Grisham's fiction is constructed but of how difficult it is to make messy reality behave in clear, streamlined fashion." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"[Grisham's] prose here isn't as good as it is in his novels — he too often misuses 'like' for 'as,' and the exclamation points he inserts as ironic asides are clumsy — but his reasoning is sound and his passion is contagious." Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his best-selling fiction....An Innocent Man is a page-turning and chilling descent into one innocent man's Kafkaesque nightmare of injustice and madness." Boston Globe

Review:

"Thanks to his abundant storytelling skills, the author delivers an account that is as vivid as the Grisham fictional fare sold at airport kiosks — but it is also, alas, just as oversimplified as his novels, and it distorts the justice system in the same way." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"John Grisham's first work of nonfiction, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, tells a deeply troubling story about wrongful criminal convictions, the denial of basic constitutional rights and the unjust imposition of the death penalty." The Oregonian

Review:

"Despite my lack of enthusiasm for Grisham's fiction, I wish The Innocent Man had been a novel. Why? Because the true story Grisham tells is awful to contemplate." Denver Post

Review:

"Grisham [speaks out about the injustice of capital punishment] in a voice loud and clear and through a book that fully explains why the nation needs to reexamine the process by which we sentence criminals to be executed." BookReporter.com

Synopsis:

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 As, 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.

Synopsis:

In the town of Ada, Oklahoma, Ron Williamson was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But on his way to the Big Leagues, Ron stumbled, his dreams broken by drinking, drugs, and women. Then, on a winter night in 1982, not far from Rons home, a young cocktail waitress named Debra Sue Carter was savagely murdered. The investigation led nowhere. Until, on the flimsiest evidence, it led to Ron Williamson. The washed-up small-town hero was charged, tried, and sentenced to death—in a trial littered with lying witnesses and tainted evidence that would shatter a mans already broken life…and let a true killer go free. Impeccably researched, grippingly told, filled with eleventh-hour drama, John Grishams first work of nonfiction reads like a page-turning legal thriller. It is a book that will terrify anyone who believes in the presumption of innocence—a book no American can afford to miss.

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of The Broker, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, A Painted House, The Brethren, The Testament, The Street Lawyer, The Partner, The Runaway Jury, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Firm, and A Time to Kill. He lives with his family in Mississippi and Virginia.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780440243830
Author:
Grisham, John
Publisher:
Dell Publishing Company
Subject:
Penology
Subject:
Legal System
Subject:
Murder - General
Subject:
Trials (Murder)
Subject:
Murder
Subject:
Williamson, Ronald Keith
Subject:
Trials (Murder) - Oklahoma
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
20071131
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
6.9 x 4.18 x 1.25 in .5 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
History and Social Science » Crime » Enforcement and Investigation
History and Social Science » Crime » Prisons and Prisoners
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Law » General

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Dell Publishing Company - English 9780440243830 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Grisham has written both an American tragedy and his strongest legal thriller yet, all the more gripping because it happens to be true. (Grade: B+)"
"Review" by , "Compared with other works in its genre, The Innocent Man is less spectacular than sturdy. It is a reminder not only of how propulsively Mr. Grisham's fiction is constructed but of how difficult it is to make messy reality behave in clear, streamlined fashion."
"Review" by , "[Grisham's] prose here isn't as good as it is in his novels — he too often misuses 'like' for 'as,' and the exclamation points he inserts as ironic asides are clumsy — but his reasoning is sound and his passion is contagious."
"Review" by , "Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his best-selling fiction....An Innocent Man is a page-turning and chilling descent into one innocent man's Kafkaesque nightmare of injustice and madness."
"Review" by , "Thanks to his abundant storytelling skills, the author delivers an account that is as vivid as the Grisham fictional fare sold at airport kiosks — but it is also, alas, just as oversimplified as his novels, and it distorts the justice system in the same way."
"Review" by , "John Grisham's first work of nonfiction, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, tells a deeply troubling story about wrongful criminal convictions, the denial of basic constitutional rights and the unjust imposition of the death penalty."
"Review" by , "Despite my lack of enthusiasm for Grisham's fiction, I wish The Innocent Man had been a novel. Why? Because the true story Grisham tells is awful to contemplate."
"Review" by , "Grisham [speaks out about the injustice of capital punishment] in a voice loud and clear and through a book that fully explains why the nation needs to reexamine the process by which we sentence criminals to be executed."
"Synopsis" by , 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 As, 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.

"Synopsis" by , In the town of Ada, Oklahoma, Ron Williamson was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But on his way to the Big Leagues, Ron stumbled, his dreams broken by drinking, drugs, and women. Then, on a winter night in 1982, not far from Rons home, a young cocktail waitress named Debra Sue Carter was savagely murdered. The investigation led nowhere. Until, on the flimsiest evidence, it led to Ron Williamson. The washed-up small-town hero was charged, tried, and sentenced to death—in a trial littered with lying witnesses and tainted evidence that would shatter a mans already broken life…and let a true killer go free. Impeccably researched, grippingly told, filled with eleventh-hour drama, John Grishams first work of nonfiction reads like a page-turning legal thriller. It is a book that will terrify anyone who believes in the presumption of innocence—a book no American can afford to miss.

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