In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance
After killing a woman in a moment of panic following a botched bank robbery, Rideau, denied a fair trial, was improperly sentenced to death at the ...more
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I reviewed this book for New York Journal of Books, but in short I recommend this book to everyone because it's not JUST about racism in America's penal system, but about American JUSTICE. What the author relates is backed up by court do ...more
April 27, 2010 A death row inmate finds redemption as a prison journalist in this uplifting memoir. In 1961, after a bungled bank robbery, Rideau was convicted of murder at the age of 19 and received a death sentence that was later commuted to life in prison at Louisiana's Angola penitentiary, then the most violent in the nation. Against all expectations, his own included, he turned his up-to-then cursed life around, becoming editor of the prison newsmagazine, the Angolite, and an NPR correspon
Before this, I had never thought to try to find out what prison might really be like. I was s ...more
The story dragged a bit but I am not sure what he could have cut out. I guess that's why I'm not an editor.
As late, I have been rea ...more
It amaze ...more
In a botched bank robbery he murders a yound lady and is sentenced to death.
Thus begins his remarkable life in the penal system of Louisiana. He is sent to Angola State Penitentiary, the Alcatraz of the South. He spends the next 44 years in various Louisiana prisons, but most are spent in Angloa. He spends 12 years on death row and 11 ...more
What I found the most interesting in his style is the portrayal of his characters. I was expecting Rideau to give malice, pettiness, calumny to some of his characters, I thought there would be simmering resentment splashing over into the plot creating a critical world: nope. Every character in this ...more
I first heard of this book in an interview on the radio. Ordered it. I had not started it when I came across a companion book by someone who was also in the same prison with Wilbert, who worked with him on the prison newspaper for a time. Eventually there was some bad blood between the two, with the second accusing Rideau of selling ...more
Wilbert Rideau, the book's author, was convicted of murder in 1961 (correctly---he acknowledges his guilt) and sent to Angola, one of the nation's most notorious maximum security prisons. Once imprisoned, Rideau taught himself how to read and write, eventually acquiring a level of literacy that enabled him to become first a writer for, then the editor ...more
I have read some reviews online that detrac ...more
If you don't believe in redemption, if you believe in the death penalty, read this. It may change your mind.
Gosh it made me mad, and sad, and happy, and reflective.
The US justice system is (?was) open to such abuse of power.
Honestly. I recommend this book to Everyone. It isn't easy - in terms of hearing what is said - it is very readable - from late teens up I would say.
A very moving and profound book that has stayed with me weeks after reading it.
That poor man. Wilb ...more
Sexual slavery, the annual Angola prison, being fried to death by electric chair--all forms of human cruelty th ...more