Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption
”Suddenly a man is on her. Shut up or I’ll cut you!” Jennifer is being raped at knifepoint. Though terrified, she thinks about her choices. ”At five-foot two, I knew I wouldn’t win a physical struggle.”
Jennifer tries to talk him out of it, offering money. She wills herself to note deta ...more
Thanks to DNA testing, after nearly eleven long years of claiming innocence and fighting "the system", Ronald Cotton is finally and thankfully released for crimes he did not commit. I could feel his frustration as he told his story, and admire his stamina and methods of survival to find his place each time he was shipped off to yet another pr...more
After eleven years Cotto ...more
Picking Cotton made me need to be a better person; just reading it allowed me a glimpse into hope.
Jennifer Thompson woke up to a man in her apartment; he raped ...more
The book vividly conveys the awfulness of the cri ...more
Jennifer and Ron are top-notch people. And I'm about to volunteer for Amnesty International.
This is the story of a woman who was brutally raped while in college who mistakenly identified a man who subsequently was imprisoned for 11 years as her attacker. The man, Ronald Cotton, who was first convicted in J ...more
The book delves into a lot more of the darker emotions on both sides: the rage and fear that dominated both Cotton's and Thompson's lives before Cotton wa ...more
I was disappointed. The story is framed as being about the unreliability of memory and the power of forgiveness. A woman is raped and picks a man out of a lineup and is convinced throughout his trial that this is the man who raped her. After 13 (?) years in jail the man is exonerated on DNA evidence. The man holds no grudge and the two become friends. So on the one hand it's a sweet redemptive tale.
I enjoyed the two-perspective memoir and I enjoyed it even more knowing that it was a recommendation from my psychology teacher.
The writing is different as well, so it didn't seem so fabricated to me. I read this book in one long car drive and it was a very fascinating read. It really made me think about the faults i ...more
Jennifer awoke in her apartment and was raped at knifepoint. She went on to identify Ronald Cotton as the rapist but it was eyewitness testimony that convicted him, not once, but twice (after a second woman who was raped an hour later but was not part of the initial charges because she couldn't identify him from the lineup). Cotton spent 11 ...more
Years later, DNA testing becomes commonplace and the results turn both Jennifer's and Ronald's life upside down.
Jennifer b ...more
I was already quite aware of this issue within the criminal justice system. But if you're not, you're going to learn a lot here in a first-person kind of way.
I couldn't put it down, quite literally finishing it in less than a day.
The story of Ron Cotton's trial and subsequent imprisonment for a brutal crime he hadn't committed is a horrifying look at criminal justice systems.
A major underlying theme in this story is blatant and socially accepted racism. The crime was committed in the early 80's but the treatment of Ron Cotton brings to mind the Civil war era.
Jennifer and Ron's story is heartbreaking and ...more