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Getting Life: An Innocent Man’s 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  779 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
He spent twenty-five years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He lost his wife, his son, and his freedom. This is the story of how Michael Morton finally got justice—and a second chance at life.

On August 13, 1986, just one day after his thirty-second birthday, Michael Morton went to work at his usual time. By the end of the day, his wife Christine had been savagely b
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Simon & Schuster
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Jun 21, 2014 Ray rated it it was amazing
I received this book from Goodreads as a giveaway.
Michael Morton was wrongly convicted for the murder of his wife and spent 25 years in jail until The Innocence Project was able to re-open the case. Edited from journals kept during his incarceration, this book takes you through his peaceful family life, prison time and the rebuilding of his life after his release. It is an emotional read. But perseverance and faith can often get us through the most harrowing life episodes.
Clearly, the law enfo
4.25 stars
This was excellent! At first I wasn't so sure it gonna be since it wasn't written by a professional author, but it got better and better as it went along. Michael Morton does an excellent job all around at explaining how justice ran amuck in his case, just the whole experience through and through. I guess 25 years in prison will give a person plenty of time to figure out just how to tell their story. This was totally worth reading.
Alyssa Scott-nutt
Aug 26, 2014 Alyssa Scott-nutt rated it it was amazing
Loved this! I can think of no adjective adequate to describe this book. It reads like a fiction whodunit that you stay up past your bedtime reading and then suddenly remember it is true. This actually happened to Mr. Morton! While reading this account I felt outrage and disgust yet hopeful. A great reminder that our justice system isn't always just, public servants aren't always serving the public and prisoners don't always live in 5 star resorts. Yet, there are always people willing to sacrific ...more
Jan 31, 2015 Kathrine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This is an amazing book! How in the world can such a monstrous thing happen in the United States where we are so much on Law and Order. Seems to me all law enforcement should be "searching for the truth" and such things as putting an innocent man away in prison for 25 years would never happen. It is really scary for if it could happen to him, it could happen to us! Well worth reading.
Jacqueline Wood
Sep 04, 2014 Jacqueline Wood rated it really liked it
I chose this book because the idea that an innocent man could walk free after living in isolation for TWENTY-FIVE YEARS really intrigued me. It was very well-written, but his experience was heart-breaking. As his life fell to pieces with the loss of his wife, son, and life, so did his spirits and, while trudging through the pages upon pages containing detailed descriptions of the corrupt judicial system and the shock, grief, and anger expressed by Michael Morton, so did mine. Although, behind ba ...more
Mar 19, 2014 Jay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
WOW! what an amazing man Michael is. to endure such horrendous treatment after anyone's worst nightmare coming true for him, and then to stand tall & better himself without letting the system drag him down... a truly extraordinary man!

shame on those who used their power to quickly & wrongly convict innocent people! & well done to the Innocence Project teams that work tirelessly & endlessly to free the wrongly convicted!!

so happy to reach the end of the book & know that he's b
Vicki Elia
Nov 22, 2014 Vicki Elia rated it really liked it
Audiobook Review
4 + Stars

An extraordinary chronicle, superbly written and heart-wrenching. Michael Morton is convicted of the ghoulish death of his young wife, and is successfully railroaded into a life-sentence. Morton somehow manages the fortitude to persist for 25 years in prison, continuously pursuing his release. He is, after all, an innocent man.

This story provides three things: the knowledge that man through resilience (and in Morton's case, faith) can overcome the most difficult circumst
Jan 18, 2016 Tabitha rated it really liked it
This book takes you through the horrendous murder of the author's wife, the tainted legal system that found him guilty, and the near 25(!) years he spent in prison as an innocent man. It was not until The Innocence Project and DNA analysis came along that he was finally set free. His positivity and faith in God allowed him to survive such a tragic tale without developing hate towards his persecutors. Given the fact he was able to obtain a B.S. in Psychology and a masters in writing while incarce ...more
May 16, 2014 Scott rated it it was amazing
Amazing account of a terrible situation

I talked more about the book and interviewed the author here:

earlier I wrote

received an advanced copy of this today. It comes out July 8. Should be a fascinating harrowing account of being wrongly imprisoned in Texas for too many years.
May 17, 2014 Gina rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a giveaway from the author and Good reads.
I can't praise this book enough! From the very first page, I was completely engrossed in the story.
It is truly a page-turner. I enjoyed the journey. I hope this story gets made into a movie. I feel compelled to find out more about the Innocence Project and help in my area. A big thank you to Michael Morton for sharing his story. 5 stars!!

Gina Alder
Jeremy Stock
Nov 01, 2016 Jeremy Stock rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Michael Morton's life is an inspiration to us all... How his life was changed by a flawed and brutal justice system that brought anything but justice, how the change transformed him, and what it means to live through faith. This is a wonderful book I'm sure to read and read again.

Tezi and I read this together.
Nov 29, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
Good book, but I was looking for more on his experiences in prison and how the appeal process went. It seemed we went from 1-5 years in prison and then fast-forwarded to year 20.

Perhaps that's how it seemed to him and everything ran together after a while, though.

Good memoir, not a great memoir.
Aug 08, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
Compelling story even though the writing may feel a bit flat. What a nightmare this man survived... convicted by incompetent and criminal prosecutors and served 25 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.
Dec 31, 2014 Charlene rated it it was amazing
I started this book because it takes place in my home town and I knew some of the people in the book. It was an excellent true crime story, but more than that it was about keeping faith in the most trying of times.
Sep 14, 2014 Delane rated it liked it
Compelling story, mediocre writing.
Jan 23, 2017 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book in half a day. It was so frustrating and wonderful. I had moments when I chocked up with emotion, both good and bad. This is one man's journey through hell to freedom. Being wrong convicted of the murder of his wife, and the 25 years that was ensue because of that. It makes you think and look at the criminal justice system with fresh eyes, it makes you want to never take a single simple thing for granted, but most of all, it made me humbled to know that a man like Michael Mo ...more
May 22, 2017 Laurin rated it it was amazing
AMAZING read! Got all the "feels" on this one.
Kate (Too Read or Not Too Read)
Having been through many criminal justice/ criminal forensic classes, I was very interested in learning more about the Innocence Project. My professors spoke of this program several times and the work that goes on to free these innocent people who were abused by the system. One of my professors wanted to have someone come and speak to the class, but it didn't work out. When I was offered the opportunity to review Michael Morton's story, I was eager to read it.

The way that this memoir is written
Nik Von
Feb 24, 2017 Nik Von rated it it was amazing
Hard to imagine a life altered in the way the author's was. A well written account of a scary and frightening true nightmare.
Mary Stapp
Apr 26, 2015 Mary Stapp rated it really liked it
This book is the astonishing story of a man convicted of his wife's brutal murder, well-told by the man himself. In the early morning hours of a day in 1986 Chris Morton is bludgeoned in her sleep. Their 3-year-old son is spotted by a neighbor peeking out the front door and wandering around with no parent in sight. Later the boy will reveal some of the things he saw that morning, but in the meantime, author Michael Morton is quickly framed for the crime. Inept police work, a sheriff eager to pro ...more
Vicky-Leigh Sayer
Jul 01, 2014 Vicky-Leigh Sayer rated it it was amazing
Getting Life is by far the most inspirational book that I have ever read. A true tale of survival it will be have you gripped from the opening pages.

A remarkable account of Michael's life behind bars for a murder that he did not commit, from the horrific discovery of his wife's body, to the agony of his broken relationship with his son, Michael's tale is tragic.

Yet never once does he feel sorry for himself.

From his arrival in penitentiary through to his meetings with the Innocence Project, Micha
Feb 16, 2015 Jlsimon rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up as an audio a year ago. I listened to it, but I wasn't a fan. The author jumps all over the place in the narrative and I could follow what was going on, but it was not a cohesive telling the way most true crime books walk the reader through the events. I wont say I didn't like it, I just wasn't as impressed by it as those that have a similar theme like, "The Innocent Man" or "Life After Death".

After now having listened to it a second time I've concluded that this author di
Robert Miller
Jul 25, 2014 Robert Miller rated it really liked it
This book dramatically describes the horror of being convicted of a crime you did not commit; the author/defendant served 25-years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of killing his wife. After earning college degrees in prison, and with the help of skilled layers, Michael Morton carefully details the agonizing existence of prison life and his constant hope to gain his freedom; he describes the day-to-day brutal reality of his life behind walls, psychopathic inmates, prison guards and his ...more
Nov 08, 2014 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Wow, this book was powerful. A must read for anyone wanting to understand how the US justice system can go wrong. (Which should be every American, at least-- because what happened to Morton could happen to anyone.) The media circus that convinced everyone he was guilty before he was even tried, the willingness of people to abandon their integrity to "win," and the inside view of the misery of our prison system are still problems that happen today. I'm grateful for the reminder of how important i ...more
Jul 03, 2014 Clare rated it it was amazing
One of Michael Morton's best investments was the typewriter that he bought while in prison and the time he spent in creative writing classes and practicing his craft were exceedingly well spent. This is one of the most well-written memoirs I have read in a long time.

The plot kept me wanting to turn the next page. Morton is such a likable guy that throughout the book, I felt empathy and caring and a desire to know what would happen next. He unveils details and evidence in such a gradual way that
Jul 20, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it
Rating this as 4 stars, not necesarily for it being a literary master work, but for a compelling story of what can happen in the legal system. A man celebrates his birthday one evening with his wife and young son. Later at home he puts in a porn tape (ok, not my idea of marital romance but each to his own)and gets disappointed when his wife falls asleep. Going to to work very early the next morning, he leaves her a note indicating how she spoiled his birthday celebration. When he arrives home, t ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
My View:
An inspirational story of love, fortitude and unbelievable corruption at the highest levels. An amazing survival story.

Beautifully written this true life story reads more like a fictional work of crime and corruption – I cannot believe that fellow human beings could knowingly cover up and collude and conspire to treat this man so appallingly; men of rank and status with a duty of care over their fellow citizens behaved so prejudicially and maliciously against a person they had never met
Jul 26, 2014 Skyqueen rated it really liked it
I have so many, many feelings about this book, it would TAKE a book to recount them. So I'll just let the four stars speak for me, symbolizing the positives and negatives along the feelings line and the authorship. Mainly for the authorship, I just wanted more answers in all areas! Undeniably his lament also. So we will just have to leave it at that.
Glad you made it out Mike and was able to get some good laws passed for all of us here in TX.

This is what I wrote when a friend asked the following
Mar 19, 2016 Terri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
After my disillusion with Life After Death by Damien Echols, I was still looking to scratch the itch Making a Murderer had left. Bookriot recommended Getting Life by Michael Morton, and this turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

The miscarriage of justice that saw Michael Morton fester in prison for 25 years was deplorable. This man lost his whole life. He was grieving for the wife he loved and for the loss of his son with whom he lost touch, the son who thought his father was a monste
Mar 14, 2016 Jaime rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Unbelievable. How my heart ached for and my anger flared over Michael Morton and his situation. Morton is intelligent, well-spoken, honest, humble, imperfect, resilient. He is amazing and his voice in this memoir is one that deserves a platform. I will certainly be even more careful to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I look forward to tracking down the documentary.

This is why I currently read nonfiction - it is often stranger and more exciting than fiction.

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“At the Nuremberg trials, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt described the actions and the architects of the Holocaust with a simple, memorable phase--saying that the whole lot represented 'the banality of evil.' Her long ago words applied well to the man before us.” 0 likes
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