The Innocent Man
Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Arrow Books,
Price: Rs 264
Guilty until proved innocent. John Grisham must have chuckled incessantly at the utter ingenuity of this plot-on-the-platter served up to him in small town Ada, Oklahama. The innocent man in Grisham’s first book of non-fiction, is Ron Williamson.
Grisham starts by establishing firmly just how small and off-the-trodden-road Ada really is. Hopes were pinned on Williamson to put Ada on the map with his baseball talent. His first downfall: drinks, drugs, women... and a bad arm. Five years after the rape and murder of cocktail waitress Debra (Debbie) Sue Carter, the police, for reasons never clearly established, descend on Ron and his friend Dennis Fritz. The second fall. Straight into the Death Row. Skip his prison diary entries of undigestible food, fights and showers and here’s a tale set to appeal to the budding citizen activists of this country. But here’s the really inscrutable twist in this tale: in the 12 years or so that Ron spends on The Row with real killers, he starts to believe insanely in the fairness of the death penalty.