News 07.09.09

John Grisham Developing Screenplay on ‘Norfolk Four’ Case

John Grisham, whose first non-fiction book “The Innocent Man” raised awareness around the world about wrongful convictions, is working on a screenplay about the cases of four men convicted of a Norfolk, Virginia, murder they say they didn’t commit. Known as the “Norfolk Four” case, it is the subject of the recent book “The Wrong Guys.” The four men say they were wrongfully convicted based on coerced false confessions.

After the four men were convicted, DNA testing matched evidence from the crime scene to a man named Omar Ballard, who was then also convicted of the crime. Although Ballard says he committed the crime alone, three of the four original defendants remain in prison serving life sentences.

Grisham, who serves on the Innocence Project Board of Directors, said he was drawn to write about the story after reading “The Wrong Guys,” by Richard Leo and Tom Wells.

"It's the most egregious case of wrongful conviction I've seen, and I travel around the country listening to stories about these cases," said Grisham, who lives outside Charlottesville. He said the prosecution "should have been a fairly clear-cut DNA case, involving a man who later pled guilty, and to this day confesses he did it and did it alone."


Read the full story here

. (Washington Post, 07/08/09)



Read more background on the Norfolk Four case

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“The Wrong Guys” at Amazon.com

(a portion of the purchase price supports the Innocence Project)

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“The Innocent Man” at Amazon.com

(a portion of the purchase price supports the Innocence Project)

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