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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California

    Book Lovers! Grisham book not libelous!

    John Grisham's The Innocent Man is a nonfiction study of an Oklahoma case in which two men were wrongly convicted of rape-murder. They were eventually exonerated by DNA and Grisham wrote his book as an indictment of the Oklahoma criminal justice system. One of the defendants wrote a similar book and two others wrote forwards and epilogues. The plaintiffs, Oklahoma officials, a policeman, a criminologist and the prosecutor did not fare well in the books and other writings, so they sued for libel and defamation by false light, among other things.

    For those of us interested in Grisham, nonfiction exposÚs, abuse of the criminal system (Nifong, anyone?), or the law of defamation, I am linking the Tenth Circuit's opinion here. (PDF file) It's only 15 pages and an easy read. Enjoy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    IANALawyer, but this struck me as quite funny:
    They further accuse the district court of neglecting to analyze each of the factual allegations in their complaint on the basis that the district court noted that such a task would be “boring” and repetitive.”
    Go District Court? Do things like that get written often?

  3. #3
    It takes a special kind of awful to wrongfully convict someone of rape and murder, have them spend a decade on death row only to finally see themselves exonerated, and then sue them for writing a book about their ordeal. There's reserved seating in hell for that type of person.

    Was Mike Nifong involved in any way?

    ETA - Hehe... after reading the linked decision, I forgot that the original post also referenced the Nifonger.

  4. #4
    For anyone looking for a great read, I highly recommend "An Innoncent Man" -it will leave you angry, frustrated and confused by our criminal justice system. It's quite a story.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    As I read Grisham's The Appeal I was really angry about the legal system his story was about, but after thinking further that anger came down on the political system that allowed it. In the end, though, my anger shifted over to Grisham because he ended the novel without any real solution to the problem. His ending was just wrong however you look at it. I was getting tired of his work, anyhow. He has been going downhill since A time to Kill.

  6. #6
    Jarhead -- I agree with your assessment of The Appeal. Typical Grisham in that he sets up an interesting story in the first part of the book but then the later chapters kind of fizzle. In my opinion, this is true of all of his books dating back to The Firm. However, if you haven't already read An Innocent Man, I would give it a chance. As has been noted in this thread, the book is based on a very powerful true story. Grisham's storytelling with an actual case is a nice combination.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Jarhead -- I agree with your assessment of The Appeal. Typical Grisham in that he sets up an interesting story in the first part of the book but then the later chapters kind of fizzle. In my opinion, this is true of all of his books dating back to The Firm. However, if you haven't already read An Innocent Man, I would give it a chance. As has been noted in this thread, the book is based on a very powerful true story. Grisham's storytelling with an actual case is a nice combination.
    Pretty sure I couldn't read it. I watched the documentary After Innocence and just about couldn't take it. Between the Nifonging of three Duke kids before my very eyes and the hundreds exonerated long after the fact who weren't nearly as fortunate as the Lacrosse team members, I've developed a pretty healthy skepticism towards prosecutors.

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