January 29, 2007

The True State of C.S.I. Justice - New York Times

The True State of C.S.I. Justice - New York Times

Last night I finished reading the book An Innocent Man, John Grisham's most recent and first non-fiction book (Grisham is a former attorney). In it he traces the lives and wrongful conviction of two men for rape and murder of a woman in Ada, Oklahoma. He focuses most intently on Ron Williamson, a former minor league baseball player with a history of alcoholism, drug use and mental health problems who spent 11 years on death row until exonerated by DNA analysis.

The Innocence Project was involved in Williamson's case.

The book traces the frailties, biases and general incompetence of the criminal justice system in a small Oklahoma town and the courage and dedication of a Federal court judge, an Oklahoma judge and several attorneys who worked so hard to see justice done.

Grisham does a masterful job in simple narrative prose to produce a great book that should focus even more attention on getting things right in our criminal justice system.
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