Trevor Poe's Reviews > The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

The Innocent Man by John Grisham
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Dec 07, 08

Recommended to Trevor by: My mother
Recommended for: Anyone who like true stories
Read in November, 2008, read count: 1


Set in the quiet Bible Belt town of Ada, Oklahoma, The Innocent Man is a very well written novel about a man named Ronald Williamson, who was wrongly accused of a murder. Grisham describes the town perfectly when he says, “Had it not been for two notorious murders in the early 1980s, Ada would have gone unnoticed by the world.” In this book, the author, John Grisham, takes you through all of the details of the murder and explains why Ron Williamson was wrongly accused.

Ron Williamson lived in Ada, Oklahoma, where, as a young boy, he fell in love with the sport of baseball. In high school, he was on the all-state baseball team. He also had a friend on the baseball team named Bruce Leba who got Ron into drinking. After high school, Ron had many failed attempts at the pros after playing many seasons with the New York Yankee minor league team.

Living back in Ada, Oklahoma, Ron’s obsession of playing professional baseball led to depression, and he was soon diagnosed with a mental illness called bipolar disorder. His lifestyle became precarious and irresponsible. Grisham says, “Ron went bar hopping trying to take home a different girl every night.” This got him accused of numerous rapes by numerous girls. He then started bar hopping with a man named Dennis Fritz. One of their favorite bars to go to was the Coachlight.

Dennis Fritz lived in Ada with his daughter. He became friends with Ron and quickly began bar hopping with him. After a fight one night in which neither could remember what it was about, Dennis left Ada and went to live with his mom in Kansas City. In Kansas City he kept busy by painting houses. His friendship with Ron was just a memory until they were arrested for the murder of Debra Sue Carter.

One night at the coachlight when Ron and Dennis were not there, a girl named Debra Sue Carter was raped and murdered after being seen with Glen Gore. On very little evidence, Ron and Dennis were taken in as prime suspects. On trial with lying witnesses and corrupted evidence, Ron and Dennis were prosecuted with little help to defend them.

The main theme of this book is that there are many flaws in our justice system and those flaws can lead to injustice that destroys many lives. Grisham makes the reader really think about our justice system and how it can be corrupted.
The strength of this book is that is was told with many detailed facts of the murder case. It also shows how unfair and poor the police system is in Ada, Oklahoma. It makes one wonder just how many other incompetent police forces exist throughout our country.

The weakness of this book is that it was not very exciting or mysterious. You pretty much know from the beginning what is going to happen at the end of the book. I did not like this book because I like books with a lot of suspense and excitement in them, and this book had neither.

Page Count: 435

Genre: Non-Fiction
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Vibin JK Half way through and it's a drag. Only now realized that it's non fiction.


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