The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

by John Grisham


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The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 541 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had known Debbie for many years. Her older sister was and still is my very dear friend. Her mother, Peggy, in my opinion is one strong woman. Peggy lives in fear every day that another daughter may die. Losing a child is one thing, but losing one at the hand of such a hanous mind is just overwhelming! Reading the book and knowing the words were all so true, I felt sometines that I would be sick to my stomach. Anyone thinking this book is boring has no heart! I watched this family go through hell, while our own system put Dennis and Ron through a deliberate hell! These law enforcement people are nothing, in my opinion, nothing but scum, a self-righteous piece of meat! I would recommend that every person now alive should read this book and let it go to heart that it could happen to YOU! Anyone can walk up to a police officer and tell him, 'hey, I saw so-& so do this crime,' and your life would become hell! You are no longer innocent, you are guilty in the eyes of the law and by-god you had better have an OJ Simpson attorney and pictures of where you really were and what you were really doing. The fact that John Grissom wrote this book is beyond outstanding. I give him a great 'Thank You'. All through this trial I kept wondering why there was no mention of the fact that a girl called the funeral home Before Debbie was found to see if she was there????? I remember the time that Leona and I went to visit Debbie where she lays in the cemetary. As we were getting into the car to leave a young girl drives up, goes directly to Debbie's grave. Leona went up to her and ask her if she knew Debbie, the girl replies 'no, not really'....what's up with that? Leona was making plans to fly home from Alaska to surprise Debbie, just imagine the shock when she had to fly home to see Debbie bruised, choked, blue. I could go on but I won't. I just pray that God gives peace of heart to Peggy, Leona,Darla and all her family that live with this every day. One final thought. All though the trial I had a feeling that Dennis and Ron were innocent, just as did Peggy, her mother.
Angela2932ND More than 1 year ago
Some books aren't "entertaining", but feel important to read. John Grisham is known for his his legal thrillers; in this book, he is more of a legal journalist. This book is moving, scary, and informative, about things like DNA analysis, the death penalty, life inside the prison system, and the loss of freedom. This is the true story of Ron Williamson, from a small town in Oklahoma, who is wrongly convicted of rape and murder. The judicial system goes terribly awry, and anger over the unsolved crime eventually leads the criminal justice system to relentlessly focus on Williamson. At times, the overwhelming amount of detail slows the pace of the story, but the criminal investigation and Justice System moved slowly in dealing with Williamson. Over the course of the book, you witness the physical and emotional deterioration of a man greatly abused by the judicial system. Some books you read, and you hate to get to the end; by the end of this book, I felt nothing but relief!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have long been a fan of Grisham. This, his novel, about a real life murder and subsequent trial is fantastic reading .. John Grisham is one of the great story tellers, and this is one of his great reads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Grisham has managed to write a book that reads like one of his novels and still tells this amazing and true story about "justice" in a small town. Anyone who thinks that justice is always blind is in for a rude awakening. This truth is stranger than fiction story is a warning to all of us about what can happen when our desire to blame someone overwhelms our need to always seek the truth no matter how long that may take. Take your time reading this book you will not be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read from the first word to the last word.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book. This could happen in any town. I would like to see it made into a movie
me_plus_n More than 1 year ago
such an interesting book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RogRH More than 1 year ago
This was the first Grisham book I have read and found it very interesting. To think this could happen anywhere. All the underhanded things happening with the law who is supposed to protect us! Great book and great reading.
MichaelTheAuthorMG More than 1 year ago
This compelling tale, of which I read the last 335 pages nonstop, seems to have inspired Grisham's novel, The Confession, which has a similar plot. But this true story required much more research and at least one assistant to organize and to keep track of all the data gathered from interviews with those involved and from local newspaper accounts. Truth may be more improbable than fiction, but this account requires no suspension of disbelief at all, let alone one like that necessitated by the fictional perpetrator's partial, cane-disposing recovery. This work inevitably reinforces the perceptions that prosecutors (1) rarely seem to fulfill their responsibilities as objective, truth-seeking court officers sworn to protect the rights of defendants, especially innocent ones -- the recent dismissals in the U.S. and France of all charges against the former head of the International Monetary Fund notwithstanding -- and (2) often appear to "get their rocks off" by pursuing victory at all costs and through all available means. The novel is laced with the humor and pervaded by the author's healthy skepticism, and it easily qualifies as one of Grisham's finest achievements.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the few books of his that I have read and I must say I LOVED it! I do not mean distraction in its rather insulting sense but more on the fact that you wont be able to make yourself do anything else once you start reading it. He sucks you into his world from the begining as you feel feelings for a character that you had no idea you could feel for someone of fictional orgin. As the book continues you are drawn in more and more and then the ending is so unexpected it feels like someone ripped your heart of you years ago and you didn't realize it until now. I personally got so mad that I threw the book on my bed and shook my head as I thought to myself 'WHY?'
katknit More than 1 year ago
It's becoming a well known fact in the US - there are two different justice systems, one for those who can afford the best defense, the other for those who cannot. The indigent can be, and often are, treated to a paltry parody of trial and sentencing. Nowhere have I encountered a better example of this than in John Grisham's account of the railroading of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz in the Oklahoma murder case of Debra Carter. Grisham recounts the outrageous details of the case, in which every standard of evidence, from the sloppy work of the local police to the misconduct of attorneys and judges, was blatantly mocked. The trials were both travesties of perjury and corruption, based upon the testimony of snitches and legal system cronies.

Whether or not Ron Williamson was a nice person or a sane one, whether or not he had the potential for violence, he and Dennis Fritz did not commit this murder. The authorities destroyed the lives of two men and their families, while failing to prosecute the true culprit, who was always prominent in the picture, and indeed provided false testimony. Readers can usually ignore "must read" recommendations, but with respect to The Innocent Man, it is "a book that no American can afford to miss." The system of justice upon which our country is based is in danger.
Bookworm1951 9 months ago
A departure from the usual John Grisham books. This non-fiction story tells a frightening tale about our justice system. I gave it 4 stars rather than 5 because so many people involved that it got a bit confusing at times. Makes you stop and think about how many falsely accused people are behind bars and how many true criminals are still out there - free.
Sonia MacKenzie More than 1 year ago
Completely captivating. Great price for Grisham
Jambosrule More than 1 year ago
Not really my favorite genre, but I thought the book was very fluid, especially considering the amount of time that the author had to cover. The story itself was maddening; it was about a man falsely accused of murder, the path that this man's life took, and the eventual reconsideration of the evidence to free him. Outstanding in parts, very good overall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those that believe that our justice system is one of the best on this planet. I have read many true crime books in my life and this is one that I can never forget. I have known people that are actually still doing time in prison for something that they have never done or don't even have any knowledge about. This book completely exposed the scandalous and injustice of our socalled sophisticated justice system, this is something that can truely happen to anyone of us normal people and till this day, the same kind of story is happening in our country everyday. I agree with the last review, anyone that says this book is boring has no heart or just simply still living in their own dream that our system is fair and our law enforcement is here to protect and to serve us innocent civilians.
theycallmenicki More than 1 year ago
I use to hate reading, but then I found this piece of literature genius. If you like any of Grisham's other books, you're sure to enjoy this book as well!
Krystyna Kraeger More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, couldn't put it down. It was so different from what he normally writes, kinda refreshing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love John Grisham and had been a HUGE fan of all his fiction novels but I must admit I was sceptical of his first non-fictional book. But out of loyalty, I read it anyway. I am proud to say, he did not disappoint me. This book had me so drawn into the people and events that took place, I felt as if I was watching it unfold. Grisham paints a vivid picture of what can happen when the legal system fail a person. He show what can happen when the public put pressure on the legal system to solve a crime and the legal system don't act in the best interest of justice but of the public. It's not written to undermind the legal system but tell of the truths in it's flaws. What happened to Ron Williamson was so aweful, it haunted me for days. I've worked in criminal justice for over 14 yrs so I know that it's not perfect. But I've never seen misjustice in this manner. This was one of the saddest stories ever told. It open your eyes to things you might not wanna see but feel that you must. Excellent job John!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sadly reflects the inflexible thinking of people. In this circumstance it shows the injustice of our legal (Note: Not Justice system). This is rampart throughout life, politics, and religion.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
I made it 1/3 way through and just had to stop. It takes place in my time frame - I graduated high school 1971. But could not relate, do not understand not being able to get a grip on your life better than 4 young men were able to do. So much emphasis on baseball sport and what could happen but rarely does I just quickly lost interest in the story. I had to quit, but then read author"s ending notes on writing this story. These few pages were enough to tell the appaling story of murder, suspected murder, ignorance, corrupt law enforcement, inept court proceedings, and how taxpayers $$ are so poorly managed and no one appears to be held accountable. Who is accountable - we all are as eligable voting citizens are. Shame on all of us for not demanding more from our country and ourselves. There is an important story to tell here just wasn't done well in my opinon. And I know this author is better than where I became bored and said to myself , I've had enough. Sorry - I do appreciate how much research, heart & soul went into writing the tale. JDL 4/28/19
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a reminder to always be vigilant concerning our justice system and media.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tcarter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much better than recent novels. Forensic dissection of murder investigations and convictions of four innocent men in small town Oklahoma. The level of blinkeredness, malfeasance and downright deliberate injustice is awe inspiring.