The Innocent Man

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by weitekamper
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The Innocent Man

3. The TrialRon had no chance since the first day he was brought in. He had no money for a good lawyer. Before he went to trial, his mother passed away. She was the one person who could prove Ron was at home that night. Ron was in and out of mental institutions his whole life, due to his depression and other personality disorders. Even though this was known, his mental status was not mentioned during his trial. In fact, the prosecution used this to their advantage! Ron was taken in for questioning, and the police interrogated him for over eight hours! After that, even Ron started to believe he raped and killed Debbie Carter. Because there was no solid evidence against Ron, the police did everything in their power to keep him in jail. They had him in jail for three years on social security check fraud! Ron had no chance during the trial. The police had a "dream" testimony from Ron. Ron said he was so manipulated by the police's interrogation, that he had a dream about killing Debbie Carter. The police used this "dream" testimony during Ron's trial, in an attempt to convict him. That is how desperate the they were. The prosecution's argument, for the murder of Debbie Carter, was built on hair that could possibly be Ron's. Keep in mind, at this time there was no DNA testing to see if Ron was at the scene of the crime. The police also had convicts from the prison testify in court against Ron. All these convicts lied under oath. Ron was going to prison whether he was innocent or not.

The Innocent Man By: John Grisham

Before It All Happened:Ron Williamson grew up in the small town of Ada, Oklahoma. He had a gift as a child and young man. Any sport he tried, he could excell at! He began to take great intrest in Baseball. Ron Williamson and Bruce Leba, his best friend at the time, both could pursue careers in baseball. Ron and Bruce both loved baseball, but decided to take different routes to pursuing it as a profession. Bruce went to college, playing baseball, but soon he had to stop. His bad knees gave out. Ron, thought he was good enough to play major league baseball without going to college. He was stuck in minor leagues, trying to make his way up, and he barley get there. But soon after, Ron's chances took a turn for the worse. He hurt his pitching arm. He thought some time off would heal it, then he would be back, better than ever. Ron never could get back to his prime. Ron's baseball career was over.

2. How It Happened:Ron Williamson lived a certain lifestyle. He was a drinker, partier, and drug user. He had some run-ins with the police over his years, but only for small infractions. He had his share of drunk driving incidents. Ron was never convicted of any major crimes, but that doesn't mean the police didn't want him to be. One night, Debra Sue Carter was raped and killed in her small Ada apartment. The police traced her steps of the night before. She had gone out with some friends to the Coachlight, a local bar which she worked at. She then came home early the next morning. Debbie called her father that morning, asking him to come over, as if something was wrong. During that call she talked to someone else in her apartment, then told her father she had changed her mind and didn't need any help. Because her father cared about her, he went over anyway. Debbie was found dead that morning. Someone from the Coachlight said they had seen Ron harassing Debbie. This was their chance! The police could connect Ron to a rape and murder! He would finally be going away for life. There was only one problem, there was no solid evidence.

4. Ron's FreedomAfter eleven years in prison and on death row, Ron was released. One of the police's earlier suspects, Glen Gore, was soon convicted. The police never even investigated Gore. DNA testing had just been developed and the hair samples at the scene were soon tested. They were not Ron's! Instead they were Glen's. Ron Williamson along with Dennis Fritz, his supposed accomplice for this crime, were both released from prison in 1999. About five years later, death came knocking on Ron's door. He had cancer and was soon going to pass away. In these five years, Ron lived more than most people do in a life time. He made his dream come true. He made it on Yankee field, only two weeks after being released from prison! Even though Ron only had five years of it, his freedom was time well spent.

"His mental health concerned no one but his family. Neither the prosecution, the defense, nor the court itself had raised the issue (Grisham 232).

"He was completely at peace with the Lord. He had no fear of death. He just wanted to get it over with" (Grisham 425).

"It all changed with the rape charges. He knew he would be forgotten as a player and would be known only as an accused rapist" (Grisham 62).

Marcus WeitekamperPeriod 7


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