Lisa's Reviews > Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino
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's review
Feb 22, 2010

really liked it

I saw an interview with Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton on "60 Minutes" about a year ago, and the concept of their book fascinated me: a white woman misidentified her black rapist, sending an innocent man to prison for years. When DNA evidence exonerates him, they meet, he forgives her for her mistake, and they become close friends.

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 was cleared of the crime. Both of them now speak on behalf of groups who work on behalf of inmates who insist they're innocent. Thompson-Cannino had been a proponent of the death penalty until she spoke at an event benefiting an inmate who, like Cotton, was convicted chiefly on the basis of eyewitness testimony.

This book really makes you think about the fallibility of memory, and later on, about the power of forgiveness. These two people have pulled beauty out of the mess.
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