News 01.03.17

Author John Grisham tackles criminal justice reform, wrongful conviction in new interview

By Innocence Staff

Internationally acclaimed author John Grisham voiced his concern for the state of the American criminal justice system today warning that there is nothing worse than wrongfully convicting an innocent person for a crime they didn’t commit while the true perpetrator remains free.

In an interview with The Marshall Project, the bestselling author pinpointed wrongful conviction as an ongoing crisis in the criminal justice system while appealing to Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions to address head-on much-needed reform efforts.

“I would never advise Mr. Sessions on how to handle his job, but I hope he understands that there are thousands of innocent people in prison serving long sentences for crimes committed by others; that their convictions could have been avoided and the real perpetrators brought to justice; that many segments of our criminal justice system are broken and must be fixed,” explained Grisham.  “The two of us could have a long conversation.”

The author of renowned successes such as The Firm and The Pelican Brief noted that his eyes were opened to the flaws of the criminal justice system when he began doing research for his only nonfiction book, The Innocent Man, about Innocence Project clients Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, who served more than a decade (Williamson on death row) before being exonerated by DNA evidence.

Grisham, whose latest novel, The Whistler, hit bookstores in October, is a longtime member of the Innocence Project’s Board of Directors.

Read the full interview online at The Marshall Project.

Leave a reply

Thank you for visiting us. You can learn more about how we consider cases here. Please avoid sharing any personal information in the comments below and join us in making this a hate-speech free and safe space for everyone.

  1. Marguerite Moskalyk says:

    Being a Canadian I have turned my attention to the Innocence Canada Foundation.
    Having followed the US Project for 3 years.
    My daughter then 33 and a Child & Youth Councellor, was wrongfully accused of sexual abuse to a female student.
    It took 3 years but eventually we were able to prove her innocence.
    With NO thanks to her lawyer who strongly advised her to plead guilty and save all the
    Expense of more legal fees and we should remember that her case would be tied up for years in the courts.
    A guilty plea would allow her a short 18 month stint in minimal security prison.
    The Lawyer then moved into the position of “Judge” in the Toronto Ontario Court system.
    We changed lawyers – and spent all the money we would have saved and proved the
    Truth……..The individual had recanted her statement not only to the police , but also the court under oath.. No one acknowledged this..and it was the social media’s proof that clarified and cleared my daughter in the end.
    I share this with you as a reminder the injustice at every level.
    Whilst trying to find a new lawyer we were told…..by a lawyer….it would be hard to find a lawyer who would take on the case, and go up against the new judge who had highly recommended a guilty plea.
    Gives wrongly convicted ! A pretty easy place to be.
    Keep up the amazingly good work that you are doing.
    Yours sincerely,
    Marguerite Moskalyk
    Toronto Canada
    To Court, but also on the stand….

  2. Denise Coleman says:

    Dear Mr. Grisham,

    I admire your work so much.

    In 1995, my brother and his best friend Chuck were brutally murdered in Coosa Co. Al.

    20 years later, three men were arrested, and sent to prison.
    I have never received rest from the corrupt and unjust outcome of this trial.
    There is much, much more to this case.

    I am in process of writing you personally about Darell, Chuck, and this case, but even after 24 years,
    It is painstaking.

    Please review the following if you’re at all interested.
    Thank you so much,

    Jacqueline Denise Coleman
    Darell’s Sister, Denise.

Thanks for your comment

Featured news

Press "Enter" or click on the arrow to show results.

Search