The Innocent Man by John Grisham

February 9, 2009
By Alyssa Rizavi BRONZE, Plano, Texas
Alyssa Rizavi BRONZE, Plano, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Although John Grisham worked with various types of criminal and civil law court cases, he never stopped his passion for writing. Born on February 8, 1955 Grisham grew up with his father, mother, and four other siblings in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He attended the School of Law at The University of Mississippi majoring in criminal law. Originally, he had worked in a law practice, but kept his personal writing hobby aside. Imagining the end of a case he had been working on, Grisham quickly started his career as a novelist. After finishing his first book, A Kill of Time, Grisham started writing majority of his books based on crime cases he had heard of or dealt adding a fictional twist. He had become a sensation among many readers 'spending weeks on The New York Times bestsellers list' for most of his books ( He was credited for his 'reputation as the master of the legal thriller' ( Though most of his novels were fictitious he did write one non-fiction book, The Innocent Man in 2006.

The Innocent Man is a true story about a rape murder mystery that happens in the winter of 1982 of a young waitress named Debbie Carter in Ada, Oklahoma. The morning after her death, her body was found with blood along with other uninvestigated evidence. While the Ada police were looking further into the investigation for suspects, Ron Williamson was nowhere around the crime scene. Wanting to purse in the big shot baseball leagues, Williamson's dream slowly dwindled after becoming a crazy partier with excessive drinking and smoking. His name had been unknown to the Carter investigation until some small minuscule piece of evidence confirmed it was Williamson. Williamson, who was a home wrecker, was falsely accused along with other suspect Dennis Fritz. Years of injustice had gone by and Williamson went through mental breakdowns residing to rehab which never cured him. There was no hope for Williamson especially with false fingers pointed and made-up confessions. His only option was death row.

The focus of the story is mainly to represent Williamson's mistreated freedom and his fight to prove himself innocent. This story is a rare story to come across, with vivid details that allow the reader to see the unfairness at hand. Grisham properly depicts each character to come alive allowing a personal connection throughout the novel. Cruel punishments and harsh realities along with every detail allow the readers to get attached to the book hoping in the end for a fair justice ending. The book is an eye-opener for what happens in the real world and everyone should read this book to see the real examples of injustice in our nation. This bestseller book must be read to raise awareness of injustice.

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