Sample Law Book Review on The Innocent Man by John Grisham

Sample Law Book Review on The Innocent Man by John Grisham

John Grisham’s novel, The Innocent Man, is a non-fiction account of wrongfully convicted felons. The book’s central story focuses Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, who were wrongfully convicted and spent 18 years in prison for raping and killing an Oklahoma woman. In addition, it tells the tale of Karl Fontenot and Tommy Ward, who confessed to a murder they did not commit after relentless interrogation by the police as they believed that a lack of evidence would exonerate them. However, Grisham (225) notes that the court admitted the duo’s confessions as evidence while the prosecution corruptly made up confessions to substantiate the charges. To further demonstrate the corruption inherent in the criminal justice system, the author describes the freeing of Williamson and Fritz years later following DNA evidence that ruled them out as suspects. In addition, The Innocent Man also calls into question the fundamental ethicality of instituting capital punishment despite the widespread practice of wrongful conviction.

Grisham (127) also describes Williamson as an extremely troubled individual who, in addition to losing his childhood dream of playing professional basketball following his incarceration, battled addiction and mental health problems throughout his adult life. Through Williamson’s story, Grisham effectively highlights the failure of the American health care system in dealing with addiction and mental health issues.

Ultimately, the author handles the technical elements of the court cases with great expertise, allowing the reader to follow the story of the convicts’ incarceration, adjudication, and imprisonment. He presents the facts of the cases using straightforward declarative sentences, but also includes numerous snide comments regarding the inefficacy of the justice system. In the end, this allows readers to draw their own conclusions regarding the inefficiencies of the American justice system.

Works Cited

Grisham, John. The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town Mass Market. Dell, 2012.