I love to read. Finding the time to read is always a challenge. My stack of physical books to read is large. Many of my friends have posted pictures of their “summer reading” lists on Facebook. Of those friends, many are teachers who have the summer off and spend it reading. I don’t have that luxury.
It has become hard for me to find the time to read physical books as of late, unless I am driving. Don’t misunderstand, I mean books on tape/CD. I picked up a few audio books at the used book store recently and have been listening to them in the car on my hour drive to work. The one I just finished was John Grisham’s The Innocent Man.
Grisham is a very good author and has written some amazing books including A Time To Kill, The Firm, The Runaway Jury, and The Pelican Brief (just to name a few). What intrigued me about The Innocent Man, was that this book was non-fiction. It was a true story.
To be honest, I was unfamiliar with the story. I guess it was pretty big news at the time. It takes place in Ada, Oklahoma. It tells the story of a former minor league baseball player who is wrongly convicted of the rape and murder of a young woman in 1988. He is sentenced to death and was on Death Row for 11 years. (SPOILER) With the advent of DNA evidence and the help of an organization called The Innocence Project, he is eventually freed.
I found the book to be a very interesting read. I was amazed at the incompetence and mishandling of things by the police and authorities. There was so much weak circumstantial evidence and unreliable witnesses involved in the case, I found it hard to believe that he was found guilty. There were times that I just shook my head at the things that were NOT done and the things that were overlooked or not even considered. If you enjoy legal stories, courtroom dramas, or true crime stories, I think you will enjoy this book.
I have always enjoyed listening to old radio shows and watching movies where the plot involved someone who was framed for a crime. They often gave you all the proof that the suspect was INDEED innocent, and you had to listen or watch in hopes that the truth would come out. The TV show (and later movie) The Fugitive used that premise for their entire series! This book feels like one of those shows – except it’s a true story!
I was telling a friend about this book, and he told me that there was actually a 6-part Netflix series based on the book. That will be something I need to check out. I will be interested to see just how true to the book the series is.
Check it out and let me know what you think! Any other true crime books/stories I should look into??