The Innocent Man
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|Author||: John Grisham|
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction: a true crime story that will terrify anyone who believes in the presumption of innocence. NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY SERIES “Both an American tragedy and [Grisham’s] strongest legal thriller yet, all the more gripping because it happens to be true.”—Entertainment Weekly 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 Ron’s 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 man’s already broken life, and let a true killer go free. Impeccably researched, grippingly told, filled with eleventh-hour drama, The Innocent Man reads like a page-turning legal thriller. It is a book no American can afford to miss. Praise for The Innocent Man “Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his bestselling fiction.”—The Boston Globe “A gritty, harrowing true-crime story.”—Time “A triumph.”—The Seattle Times BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from John Grisham’s The Litigators.
|Author||: John Grisham|
|Editor||: Random House|
"John Grisham's first work of non-fiction, 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 20 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 testimo"
|Author||: John Grisham|
|Editor||: Random House|
__________________ ***NOW A MAJOR NETFLIX SERIES*** A gripping true-crime story of a shocking miscarriage of justice, from international bestselling thriller author John Grisham, author of A Time to Kill, The Firm and The Whistler. In the baseball draft of 1971, Ron Williamson was the first player chosen from Oklahoma. Signing with Oakland, he said goodbye to his small home town and left for California to pursue his dreams of 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 20 hours a day on her sofa. In 1982, a 21 year-old cocktail waitress, Debra Sue Carter, was raped and murdered, and for five years the crime went unsolved. Finally, desperate for someone to blame, police came to suspect Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz. The two were finally arrested in 1987 and charged with 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. But as Grisham methodically lays out, there was no case against him. Ron Williamson was wrongly condemned to die. 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. __________________ In 2018, THE INNOCENT MAN was adapted by Netflix into a gripping six-part true crime series. __________________ 'A master at the art of deft characterisation and the skilful delivery of hair-raising crescendos' - Irish Independent 'John Grisham is the master of legal fiction' - Jodi Picoult 'The best thriller writer alive' - Ken Follett 'John Grisham has perfected the art of cooking up convincing, fast-paced thrillers' - Telegraph 'Grisham is a superb, instinctive storyteller' - The Times 'Grisham's storytelling genius reminds us that when it comes to legal drama, the master is in a league of his own.' - Daily Record 'Masterful - when Grisham gets in the courtroom he lets rip, drawing scenes so real they're not just alive, they're pulsating' - Mirror 'A giant of the thriller genre' - TimeOut
|Author||: Benjamin Rachlin|
|Editor||: Little, Brown|
A gripping account of one man's long road to freedom that will forever change how we understand our criminal justice system. During the last three decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform. When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission -- unprecedented at its inception in 2006 -- remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations. With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man's tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption. "Remarkable . . . Captivating . . . Rachlin is a skilled storyteller."-New York Times Book Review "A gripping legal-thriller mystery . . . Profoundly elevates good-cause advocacy to greater heights -- to where innocent lives are saved."-USA Today "A crisply written page turner."-NPR
|Author||: David R. Dow|
“Every person wrongfully convicted of a crime at some point dreams of getting revenge against the system. In Confessions of an Innocent Man, the dream comes true and in a spectacular way.”—John Grisham, New York Times bestselling author of The Reckoning A thrillingly suspenseful debut novel and a fierce howl of rage that questions the true meaning of justice. Rafael Zhettah relishes the simplicity and freedom of his life. He is the owner and head chef of a promising Houston restaurant, a pilot with open access to the boundless Texas horizon, and a bachelor, content with having few personal or material attachments that ground him. Then, lightning strikes. When he finds Tieresse—billionaire, philanthropist, sophisticate, bombshell—sitting at one of his tables, he also finds his soul mate and his life starts again. And just as fast, when she is brutally murdered in their home, when he is convicted of the crime, when he is sentenced to die, it is all ripped away. But for Rafael Zhettah, death row is not the end. It is only the beginning. Now, with his recaptured freedom, he will stop at nothing to deliver justice to those who stole everything from him. This is a heart-stoppingly suspenseful, devastating, page-turning debut novel. A thriller with a relentless grip that wants you to read it in one sitting. David R. Dow has dedicated his life to the fight against capital punishment—to righting the horrific injustices of the death penalty regime in Texas. He delivers the perfect modern parable for exploring our complex, uneasy relationships with punishment and reparation in a terribly unjust world.
|Author||: John Grisham|
|Editor||: Dell Publishing Company|
Presents the real-life case of Ron Williamson, a mentally ill former baseball player who was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death for the 1982 murder of a twenty-one-year-old woman in his Oklahoma hometown.
|Author||: Robert Mayer|
For fans of Serial and Making a Murderer, the true, bewildering story of a young woman’s disappearance, the nightmare of a small town obsessed with delivering justice, and the bizarre dream of a poor, uneducated man accused of murder. On April 28, 1984, Denice Haraway disappeared from her job at a convenience store on the outskirts of Ada, Oklahoma, and the sleepy town erupted. Tales spread of rape, mutilation, and murder, and the police set out on a relentless mission to bring someone to justice. Six months later, two local men—Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot—were arrested and brought to trial, even though they repudiated their “confessions,” no body had been found, no weapon had been produced, and no eyewitnesses had come forward. The Dreams of Ada is a story of politics and morality, of fear and obsession. It is also a moving, compelling portrait of one small town living through a nightmare. “A riveting true story of a brutal murder in a small town and the tragic errors made in the pursuit of justice.”—John Grisham
|Author||: John Grisham|
|Editor||: Doubleday Books|
Presents the real-life case of Ron Williamson, a mentally ill former baseball player who was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death for the 1982 murder of a 21-year-old woman in his Oklahoma hometown.
|Author||: Michael Morton|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
“A devastating and infuriating book, more astonishing than any legal thriller by John Grisham” (The New York Times) about a young father who spent twenty-five years in prison for a crime he did not commit…and his eventual exoneration and return to life as a free man. On August 13, 1986, just one day after his thirty-second birthday, Michael Morton went to work at his usual time. By the end of the day, his wife Christine had been savagely bludgeoned to death in the couple’s bed—and the Williamson County Sherriff’s office in Texas wasted no time in pinning her murder on Michael, despite an absolute lack of physical evidence. Michael was swiftly sentenced to life in prison for a crime he had not committed. He mourned his wife from a prison cell. He lost all contact with their son. Life, as he knew it, was over. Drawing on his recollections, court transcripts, and more than 1,000 pages of personal journals he wrote in prison, Michael recounts the hidden police reports about an unidentified van parked near his house that were never pursued; the bandana with the killer’s DNA on it, that was never introduced in court; the call from a neighboring county reporting the attempted use of his wife’s credit card, which was never followed up on; and ultimately, how he battled his way through the darkness to become a free man once again. “Even for readers who may feel practically jaded about stories of injustice in Texas—even those who followed this case closely in the press—could do themselves a favor by picking up Michael Morton’s new memoir…It is extremely well-written [and] insightful” (The Austin Chronicle). Getting Life is an extraordinary story of unfathomable tragedy, grave injustice, and the strength and courage it takes to find forgiveness.
|Author||: Brandon Garrett|
|Editor||: Harvard University Press|
DNA exonerations have shattered confidence in the criminal justice system by exposing how often we have convicted the innocent and let the guilty walk free. In this unsettling analysis, Garrett examines what went wrong in the cases of the first 250 people exonerated by DNA testing, and proposes systemic reforms.
|Author||: James S. Liebman,Shawn Crowley,Andrew Markquart,Lauren Rosenberg|
|Editor||: Columbia University Press|
In 1989, Texas executed Carlos DeLuna, a poor Hispanic man with childlike intelligence, for the murder of Wanda Lopez, a convenience store clerk. His execution passed unnoticed for years until a team of Columbia Law School faculty and students almost accidentally chose to investigate his case and found that DeLuna almost certainly was innocent. They discovered that no one had cared enough about either the defendant or the victim to make sure the real perpetrator was found. Everything that could go wrong in a criminal case did. This book documents DeLunaÕs conviction, which was based on a single, nighttime, cross-ethnic eyewitness identification with no corroborating forensic evidence. At his trial, DeLunaÕs defense, that another man named Carlos had committed the crime, was not taken seriously. The lead prosecutor told the jury that the other Carlos, Carlos Hernandez, was a ÒphantomÓ of DeLunaÕs imagination. In upholding the death penalty on appeal, both the state and federal courts concluded the same thing: Carlos Hernandez did not exist. The evidence the Columbia team uncovered reveals that Hernandez not only existed but was well known to the police and prosecutors. He had a long history of violent crimes similar to the one for which DeLuna was executed. Families of both Carloses mistook photos of each for the other, and HernandezÕs violence continued after DeLuna was put to death. This book and its website (thewrongcarlos.net) reproduce law-enforcement, crime lab, lawyer, court, social service, media, and witness records, as well as court transcripts, photographs, radio traffic, and audio and videotaped interviews, documenting one of the most comprehensive investigations into a criminal case in U.S. history. The result is eye-opening yet may not be unusual. Faulty eyewitness testimony, shoddy legal representation, and prosecutorial misfeasance continue to put innocent people at risk of execution. The principal investigators conclude with novel suggestions for improving accuracy among the police, prosecutors, forensic scientists, and judges.
|Author||: T. Mack Durham|
Over 200 million Americans disbelieve the Warren Commission Report's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone, demented gunman. T. Mack Durham's suspense thriller reveals the identities of those with a motive to kill JFK. Based upon historically factual evidence.
|Author||: Ian McEwan|
|Editor||: Vintage Canada|
The setting is Berlin. Into this divided city, wrenched between East and West, between past and present; comes twenty-five-year-old Leonard Marnham, assigned to a British-American surveillance team. Though only a pawn in an international plot that is never fully revealed to him, Leonard uses his secret work to escape the bonds of his ordinary life -- and to lose his unwanted innocence. The promise of his new life begins to be fulfilled as Leonard becomes a crucial part of the surveillance team, while simultaneously being initiated into a new world of love and sex by Maria, a beautiful young German woman. It is a promise that turns to horror in the course of one terrible evening -- a night when Leonard Marnham learns just how much of his innocence he's willing to shed.
|Author||: David Baldacci|
|Editor||: Grand Central Publishing|
America has enemies--ruthless people that the police, the FBI, even the military can't stop. That's when the U.S. government calls on Will Robie, a stone cold hitman who never questions orders and always nails his target. But Will Robie may have just made the first--and last--mistake of his career . . . THE INNOCENT It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable. He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people. Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a fourteen-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway-her parents were murdered, and her own life is in danger. Against all of his professional habits, Robie rescues her and finds he can't walk away. He needs to help her. Even worse, the more Robie learns about the girl, the more he's convinced she is at the center of a vast cover-up, one that may explain her parents' deaths and stretch to unimaginable levels of power. Now, Robie may have to step out of the shadows in order to save this girl's life . . . and perhaps his own.
|Author||: Brian W. Stolarz|
A Washington Post bestseller! A chilling and compassionate look at how close an innocent man was to being put death with a foreword by Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking. What is worse than having a client on Death Row in Texas? Having a client on Death Row in Texas who is innocent and not knowing if you will be able to stop his execution in time. Grace and Justice on Death Row: A Race Against Time to Free an Innocent Man tells the story of Alfred Dewayne Brown, a man who spent over twelve years in prison (ten of them on Texas’ infamous Death Row) for a high-profile crime he did not commit, and his lawyer, Brian Stolarz, who dedicated his career and life to secure his freedom. The book chronicles Brown’s extraordinary journey to freedom against very long odds, overcoming unscrupulous prosecutors, corrupt police, inadequate defense counsel, and a broken criminal justice system. The book examines how a lawyer-client relationship turned into one of brotherhood. Grace And Justice On Death Row also addresses many issues facing the criminal justice system and the death penalty – race, class, adequate defense counsel, and intellectual disability, and proposes reforms. Told from Stolarz’s perspective, this raw, fast-paced look into what it took to save one man’s life will leave you questioning the criminal justice system in this country. It is a story of injustice and redemption that must be told.
|Author||: Harlan Coben|
|Editor||: Baker's Plays|
Years after being released from jail, Matt Hunter's hopes of moving on with his pregnant wife are shattered when he becomes the focus of a serial murder investigation.
|Author||: Dennis Leon Fritz|
'Journey Towards Justice' is a testimony to the triumph of human spirit and how one man's extraordinary resolve, along with the wonder of technology, helped transform his life.
|Author||: Jameel Zookie McGee,Andrew Collins,Mark Tabb|
WINNER OF THE CHRISTOPHER BOOK AWARD • “A must-read for anyone who longs for the day when the dividing lines of race, class, and bigotry are finally overcome by the greater forces of love, forgiveness, and brotherhood.”—Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Racial tensions had long simmered in Benton Harbor, a small city on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, before the day a white narcotics officer—more focused on arrests than justice—set his sights on an innocent black man. But when officer Andrew Collins framed Jameel McGee for possession of crack cocaine, the surprising result was not a race riot but a transformative journey for both men. Falsely convicted, McGee spent three years in federal prison. Collins also went to prison a few years later for falsifying police reports. While behind bars, the faith of both men deepened. But the story took its most unexpected turn once they were released—when their lives collided again in a moment brimming with mistrust and anger. The two were on a collision course—not to violence—but forgiveness. As current as today’s headlines, this explosive true story reveals how these radically conflicted men chose to let go of fear and a thirst for revenge to pursue reconciliation for themselves, their community, and our racially divided nation.
|Author||: Jim McCloskey,Philip Lerman|
"By the founder of the first organization in the US committed to freeing the wrongly imprisoned, a riveting story of devotion, sacrifice, and vindication Jim McCloskey was at a midlife crossroads when he met the man who would transform his life. A former management consultant, McCloskey had grown disenchanted with the business world; he enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary at the age of 37. His first assignment found him a chaplain at Trenton State Prison in 1980, where he ministered to some of the most violent offenders in the state. Among them was Jorge de los Santos, a heroin addict who'd been convicted of murder years earlier. De los Santos swore to McCloskey that he was innocent--and over time, McCloskey came to believe him. With no legal or investigative training to speak of, McCloskey threw himself into the man's case. Two years later, he successfully effected his exoneration. McCloskey found his calling. He would go on to establish Centurion Ministries, the first group in America devoted to overturning wrongful convictions. Together with a team of forensic experts, lawyers, and volunteers--through tireless investigation and an unflagging dedication to justice--Centurion has freed 63 prisoners and counting, When Truth Is All You Have is McCloskey's inspirational story as well as those of the unjustly imprisoned for whom he has advocated. Spanning the nation, it is a chronicle of faith and doubt; of triumphant success and shattering failure. It candidly exposes a life of searching and struggle, uplifted by McCloskey's certainty that he had found what he was put on earth to do. Filled with generosity, humor, and compassion, it is the account of a man who has redeemed innumerable lives--and incited a movement--with nothing more than his unshakeable belief in the truth"--