Reader reviews for The Innocent Man

He's not Truman Capote, but, who is? Grisham did a competent and thorough job of relating the primary story of a huge travesty of justice that occurred in Oklahoma from 1982 through the 1990's. Basically, before DNA testing, law enforcement officials in Oklahoma used flimsy to nonexistent, sometimes manufactured, circumstantial evidence to convict defendants on felony crimes. Moreover, the penal system maintained these people in inhumane conditions, much worse than dogs in a kennel. Prisoners had no heat, no air conditioning, no fresh air, uneatable, insufficient food and no medical care. Oklahoma figured that these prisoners were going to be executed, so why not treat them as dead.Of course, the convicts paid the price of the State's actions. Ron Williamson spent 12 years in the Oklahoma penitentiary, mostly on death row, where he lost 90 pounds (he wasn't overweight when he was arrested), his teeth, and completed the deterioration of his mind. Williamson suffered from well-documented mental illness. The prison guards deliberately, for their own amusement, verbally harassed Williamson, causing him to scream of his innocence for hours at a time, until he lost his voice.The State denied Williamson medical treatment. In prison, he lost both his health and his mind. Grisham completes the picture by describing the suffering also inflicted on the relatives and friends of the prisoners resulting from the State's abuse. Injustice was not limited to the felons. The family and friends of the victims, as well as the general population, were also mistreated and were left unprotected, since the actual perpetrators went free due to the false convictions.In short, this book documents the pain and destruction caused by incompetence and abuse of power in the State judicial, law enforcement and penal systems during a relatively recent period. Grisham performed a great service in using his popularity as a storyteller to bring this shameful episode to light.
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This is one of the few non-fiction books I've read. I bought this one because it was written by John Grisham. This was a great read. I was shocked at the injustice that happened in a small town in the US. To be a victim of it is very scary and I hope it doesn't happen to me or anyone I know.
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I love John Grisham. He is by far my favorite writer of all-time. I again appreciated his writing in this book. However, the story itself is dark and depressing - made worse by the fact that it is true. The first half of the book dragged on as Ron Willamson's life literally fell apart. The second half of the book, about his experience behind bars, his near brush with death and his subsequent release was more interesting because it offered a rarely seen inside look at life on death row. I usually enjoy John Grisham's writing because of the fascinating stories. In this book I found myself more saddened at the hand dealt to Ron Willamson and the sorry state of Ada's justice system. As a loyal John Grisham fan, I'm glad I read this book, and according to his web site, it was a project very close to his heart, but I do hope his next book is another work of fiction.
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This book sucks because it's a true story, no surprise ending, just the story of a drunk who was railroaded by the locals.
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Great book. Needed a small bit of editing to be perfect. Should be required reading for everyone, especially those who are going to sit on jury for a murder trial. Hard to put down. Being a true story made it even more interesting.
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This is one of my absolute favorite Grisham novels. While it is a change from his normal fiction writing, I was captivated by this story of mistaken identity. I found this in a home I was staying in on vacation, and read the entire book in two days. I highly recommend this book.
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Good read. The detail was excellent but the lines got somewhat redundant after a while. I can't count how many times a sentence started or ended with something like "...Ron was innocent after all". Got it... you thought he was innocent... didn't have to repeat it over 100 times.One negative - the book was so clearly biased that it made me distrust whether Grisham exposed the evidence on the prosecution side. He made the cops, DA, judges sound absolutely clueless and nearly-criminally guilty. *Usually* I've found in life that neither side is quite so cut and dry. If the case really was as clear as what he explained then there are some seriously stupid people in Ada's law enforcement; however, I suspect that it wasn't quite so lop-sided. Anyway, it did the book disservice to be sooooo biased.
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The story of Ada, Oklahoma and Ron Williamson, a man who was falsely convicted of murder. He actually was on death row waiting to be executed, when his case finally caught the attention of some dedicated and hardworking folks who believed he might be innocent. An adequate, if not compelling, account of this case.
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The Innocent Man is a sad look at one man's mental and physical deterioration, and one small-town police department's quest to prove his guilt in a woman's brutal murder.
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I haven't read many of John Grisham's books, but I have found him to be entertaining. This book was written in a slightly different voice than his other books, I'm assuming because it is nonfiction. But, I thought the story was amazing, although sad and one that needed to be told.
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