Cazenovia College has selected John Grisham’s The Innocent Man as their summer read for 2010. The book will be discussed among freshman in First Year Seminar courses within various disciplines from Business to Fine Arts, and the themes of the book will be used in their first assignment, a class wide essay competition.
Also selected for common reading at Greensboro College, The Innocent Man is a work of non-fiction. In 1982, a 21-year-old waitress in Ada, Oklahoma was raped and murdered. For five years the police could not solve the crime. They wound up charging former local baseball star Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz with capital murder. Despite the fact that the prosecution’s case was built on junk science and the testimony of jailhouse snitches and convicts, Fritz was found guilty and given a life sentence, and Williamson was sent to death row.
The book was selected to coincide with the campus visit of Sister Helen Prejean whose own book, Dead Man Walking, tells the story of her experience as a spiritual advisor to death row inmate, Patrick Sonnier.