Customer Reviews for

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

19 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

IF YOU HAD KNOWN DEBBIE CARTER

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...
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.

posted by Anonymous on April 24, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Terrible. Grisham should stick to fiction

This book was terrible. It is written in the third person, like a school essay. I felt like I was reading a book report of something that he had read. There is no active dialog. If this was the first time I was reading Grisham this would have been the last.

posted by ConstantReader10552 on February 8, 2011

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    Disturbing Things to Know

    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!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2010

    An EXTREME and worthwhile distraction

    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?'

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I liked it

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Scapegoats

    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.<BR/><BR/>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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2014

    Twist and turns

    A lot of twist and turns in this book.. Repetitive in the early part of the book, and it shows how corrupt police can be to get a conviction.. At the end, you won't want to put the book down.. I recommend it but be patient.. As they say, the ends justify the means..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    He should stick to fiction

    While I agree justice was NOT served (not even close), I find the writing disappointing. Two ladies disappear and he jumps to the conclusion they were murdered? When they left without a struggle, without any evidence of foul play or a body, one cannot conclude they've been murdered.

    It is a slow read without suspense.

    I'm disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Excellent

    I've been reading for many years and have always rated my books. I enjoyed this book very much and recommend it to all. I just don't believe that it's one of Mr. Grisham's best.

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  • Posted January 12, 2013

    Very Interesting. Makes one think of what could easily happen t

    Very Interesting. Makes one think of what could easily happen to any one of us at anytime should we find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time or should we suffer from the prejudices that people have today. The book addresses the issue of mental illness with regard to main character and the lack of treatment provided. Problems we have seen even recently ignored by many. I have a legal background and most of the legal jargon was familiar to me and made it quite easy to understand and comprhend. I strongly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Innocent man

    This was a long read, but a good one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Eye opening

    A little differant than what I expected, but enjoyed this book tremendously

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Good read

    About a girl i grew up with and loved as a friend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    Good

    Good book, fact that it is ture, makes it a little better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Excellent

    Well written. It is so hard to believe that so many people in the "system" failed this man. As someone with more than 15 years in law enforcement, I can barely comprehend the magnitude of the mistakes made in the case of Ron Williamson. I recommend this book to anyone in the "system." It is a stark reminder of the importance of just doing your job each and every day with integrity, honesty, and the goal of making sure that nothing like this happens to ANYONE, ever again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Eh... ive read better but still good

    I read this book in school and the first few chapters were great bit it gets boring twards the middle when he talkes about Ron Willamson...after that it gets interesting again and so on so fourth... boring..great...boring...ok...great...boring... blah blah blah... but still... good book. :3

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2010

    Interesting

    Story well written and characters we well created. Interesting and Sad for families involved. He should write more true stories.

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  • Posted December 2, 2010

    Insightful

    Shows how a small town can convict someone they want out of their community, especially someone from what they considered from the wrong side of town.

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    Enjoyed this very much

    I love Grisham's writing style and this departure from fiction was no exception. I enjoyed the fast pace of a fiction style combined with the detail of non-fiction. The story left me incredulous that this happened.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    Excellent Book

    In John Grisham's novel The Innocent Man it describes a story of a man, Ron Williamson, who is wrongly accused for the rape and murder of a local girl. The story also follows other people around Ron, like his sisters, layers, and his friend Dennis that was also accused of murder for the same case as Ron. Ron is convicted of the murder because he is an easy suspect for the police to pin it on, he is constantly seen drinking and walking the streets at night and he lives within close proximity to the girl's home. After being convicted Ron is imprisoned in death row where his mental health begins to degrade. As Ron is in death row he continues to try and prove his innocence by talking to all different layers. As he does this he learns all about his case and how the witnesses were lying and how the detectives didn't really have evidence against him. Throughout this book Grisham depicts the true flaws in our legal system, how easily someone innocent can be proven guilty. With people lying and inadequate evidence and the presence of an expert, juries can be easily deceived as show in this book. I found this book very intriguing because it showed me the flaws in our justice system and all the wrongs that can happen. The set up and plot line in this book was great I would change nothing about it, how Grisham started with the present when the girl was murdered and then he jumped back in time and showed how Ron Williamson grew up and his live and then back into the present with the detectives searching for a criminal. This book should defiantly be a book students read, it has a great plot summary and it has a good message behind it. The material in this book can greatly benefit the mind of young adults and should defiantly be read by them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    The Innocent Man

    Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz were "drinking buddys" at the time of December 8, 1982. On the same day, Debra Sue Carter was found murdered in her bedroom. Both Ron and Dennis were put on trial and were both found guilty for this crime. Only one problem. Ron is innocent. From 1988 to 1999, Fritz and Williamson were left to rot on death row. However, once they were both set free, there lives and dreams are now ruined because both of them have crime records.

    I'm a big fan of crime based shows and documenturies, so The Innocent Man by John Grisham would be right up my alley. The novel is pretty much the book version of a dateline ID show. The story is the tale of a guy who is innocent, however because of the incompetent of the justice system, he was sent to jail. This event is like the events from Paradise Lost. So, if you want to read a non-fiction crime story about the corruption and idiocracy of the justice system sometimes, read The Innocent Man. Its like a ID documentery, but in book form.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2009

    Something to think?!

    Very exiting book, easy to read and understand. in some of the moments you feel like you want to throw it against the wall but in the same time you want to know what happened.

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