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The innocent man : murder and injustice in a small town

by Grisham, John.

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
Coraopolis Memorial Library Adult Fiction GRI
Location  Coraopolis Memorial Library
Collection  Adult Fiction
Call Number  GRI
North Versailles Public Library Paperbacks PB FIC GRIS
Location  North Versailles Public Library
Collection  Paperbacks
Call Number  PB FIC GRIS
Penn Hills Library Paperback GRI PB S
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Paperback
Call Number  GRI PB S
Wilkinsburg Public Library Paperbacks THRILLER G
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
Collection  Paperbacks
Call Number  THRILLER G
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. From the Hardcover edition.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Grisham turns his considerable procedural skills to nonfiction with this examination of a wrongful-conviction case that incarcerated a man on Death Row for 11 years, breaking him in body and spirit. Grisham decided to try his hand at true crime after reading a 2004 New York Times obituary for Ron Williamson, a former Oakland A’s baseball player and Death Row inmate who was one of nearly 200 people exonerated through the efforts of the Innocence Project. Grisham begins with the backstory to the murder of a young cocktail waitress in Ada, Oklahoma, in 1982, moving on to the crime scene and the life of Williamson, who was convicted of the murder. Off to a flying start with the murder itself, the narrative starts to sag with Grisham’s overly long examination of Williamson’s life prior to his arrest. It picks up again with the trial (Grisham’s wheelhouse, of course) and the litany of junk science, jailhouse snitches, and shoddy police work that led to Williamson’s conviction. Unfortunately, the rollercoaster slows once again with Grisham’s lengthy recital of what happened to Williamson in prison and what led to his exoneration. Ironically, the very qualities that make Grisham’s legal thrillers compelling make this nonfiction work often tedious. Painstaking accounts of procedure and delineation of character are better suited to a venue supported by a spine of suspense. Grisham’s plot-driven fiction fans may find themselves more than a little bored by this poorly paced account."--"Fletcher, Connie" Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Grisham's first work of nonfiction focuses on the tragedy of Ron Williamson, a baseball hero from a small town in Oklahoma who winds up a dissolute, mentally unstable Major League washout railroaded onto death row for a hometown rape and murder he did not commit. Judging by this author-approved abridgment, Grisham has chosen to present Williamson's painful story (and that of his equally innocent "co-conspirator," Dennis Fritz) as straightforward journalism, eschewing the more familiar "nonfiction novel" approach with its reconstructed dialogues and other adjustments for dramatic purpose. This has resulted in a book that, while it includes such intriguing elements as murder, rape, detection and judicial injustice, consists primarily of objective reportage, albeit shaded by the now-proven fact of Williamson's innocence. The absence of dialogue or character point of view could make for a rather bland audio. Boutsikaris avoids that by reverting to what might be called old-fashioned round-the-campfire storytelling, treating the lengthy exposition to vocal interpretations, subtle and substantial. He narrates the events leading up to the 1982 rape and murder of a young cocktail waitress with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity, moving on to astonishment at the prosecution's use of deceit and false testimony to convict Williamson and Fritz and, eventually, elation at the exoneration of the two innocent men. Throughout, he maintains an appealing conversational tone, an effect made all the more remarkable by the book's nearly total absence of conversation. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Williamson, Ronald Keith, -- 1953-2004 -- Trials, litigation, etc.
Trials (Murder) -- Oklahoma.
Judicial error -- Oklahoma.
Capital punishment -- Oklahoma.
Publisher New York :Bantam Dell,2007
Language English
Description 435 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 18 cm
ISBN 9780440243830 (pbk.)
0440243831 (pbk.) :
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