Friday, 4 January 2013

Review: The Innocent Man by John Grisham.

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a small town: 

Great !!! This is John Grisham's first non-fiction and its stunning. Who goes on a long long long drives to complete their audio books??? I do !!! I did, for this one and many others. I love audio books a much I do reading a book format. 2 books a week = 104 in a year. I think I can do it. 

The author writes abt the 1987 trial n sentencing Ron Williamson for the murder of 21 year old Debby Carter. Ron, who was All-State baseball athlete was sure to be Ada, Oklahoma's local celebrity when drafted after graduation to play for the New York Yankee' minor league team. He soon found out that his extraordinary ball skills in high school were not enough to make it in the big leagues. Cut from the team and back living with his mother in Ada, Ron takes to drinking, drugging and bar hopping. His desire to play professional baseball soon became an obsession and the first hint of Ron's mental illness (the terms used to describe his mental illness has helped me to a great extent in understanding my medical terminology) came to light. When a local woman was raped and killed in her own home, Ron became the first suspect. Because he was known as a strange character around town that partyied alot and wandered the streets late at night as well as living close to the victim he was the easiest suspect. Due to the severity of the crime, the police believed there were two perpetrators and they arrested Ron and his buddy Dennis in connection with the crime. With numerous witnesses willing to lie for the prosecution, Ron and Dennis were soon charged with the rape and murder and facing a murder trial. 

Being that Ron and Dennis could not afford legal representation, the court assigned them council and the investigations began. The townsfolk were anxious to have a resolution in the case and the prosecution pushed forward with lies and shoddy policework to find Ron and Dennis guilty. This case began before DNA evidence was widely used and they were convicted without any concrete facts. Ron sentenced to Death Row and Dennis was sentenced to life in prison, the story continues with appeal after appeal being filed on their behalf. 

In the early 90's, Barry Scheck joined Ron's legal team. New technology with DNA evidence was enabling innocent convicts to be exonerated at appeals. This looked hopeful for Ron and Dennis since no forensic evidence in the past had been adequately used against them. The issue of Ron's mental capacity to stand trial had never been brought before the court as well.

John Grisham gave his best to explain the readers about the flaws in the justice system and how it is corrupted. Its informative, exiciting, and a real life chiller. Anybody who likes real life story must read this. If u believe that in States u r innocent until proven guilty, u'll b shocked reading this. This book will disturb u knowing the death penalty in States. If u think that criminal justice system is fair, this book will infuriate u. In the end, freeing of Mr. Williamson and Mr. Fritz was the result of the legal system's checks and balances. it is characterized by Mr. Grisham as a lucky fluke in the never-ending battle between plucky defense attorneys and bloodthirsty prosecutors.

A Must Read ...

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.  

Happy Reading !!!

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