Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption by Benjamin Rachlin

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During the last two decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform.

When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission-unprecedented at its inception in 2006-remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations.

With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man's tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption.

Title : Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0316311499
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 pages


Julie rated it ★★★★★

September 10, 2017

Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption by Benjamin Rachlin is a 2017 Little, Brown and Co. Publication. "Our dangers do not lie in too little tenderness to the accused. Our procedure has been always haunted by the ghost of the Innocent man convicted. It is an unreal dream...

♥ Sandi ❣ rated it ★★★☆☆

March 17, 2018

3.75 stars This non-fiction book deals with the bad conviction of Willie "Woot" Grimes in 1988 for the rape of an elderly white woman in North Carolina. Grimes, a black man, had plenty of alibis for the time frame of the crime, but the prosecution chose to go on the ever changing eye witness test...

Stephanie rated it ★★★★★

January 05, 2018

Library Biography #23 (My library shelves this as a biography but I wouldn't put it in that category) This book is really a two-for-one. Rachlin tells the story of Willie Grimes, alternating chapters describe Chris Mumma's inception and formation of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission. A...

Tutaj rated it ★★★★★

November 07, 2017

It is not often I read a book that is so moving that I am fighting tears throughout. It is hard to believe that the book is not fiction, as it is heart-breaking reading about all that Willie Grimes endured. Would highly recommend this book.

Janel rated it ★★★★☆

September 12, 2017

The case of Willie Grimes is shocking, how he was ever convicted in the first place is beyond me! This book opens with the horrendous crime and quickly after follows the arrest of Grimes – I was gripped from the very first page! The treatment of Grimes in his arrest was appalling, the trial itsel...

Lou rated it ★★★★★

August 23, 2017

Injustices with a quiet giant, Willie J Grimes. Unsettling on its revelations, informative on the history of injustices. Will Grimes will stay with the reader for some time for his patience against the injustice. This work will have you ruminate on the ones that have been sentenced to death innocent...

Antonella rated it ★★★★★

December 04, 2017

What I wish I had selected as my book club pick.

Jlsimon rated it ★★★★☆

October 01, 2017

This book shares a lot of elements with other stories of exoneration. Willie Grimes was abused by our justice system the way so many others have been. It really does make me wonder what if anything can be done to put more safe-guards in place to protect citizens. It is tragic. It took me a long t...

Maggie rated it ★★★★☆

May 28, 2017

Thanks to Edelweiss, I read this as a pre-pub. I have always been interested in the justice system and was fascinated by Picking Cotton and Grisham's Innocent Man. Legally, innocence is not enough to overturn a jury conviction. What kind of sense does that make? What makes this book different from...

Catherine rated it ★★★★★

September 16, 2017

What a remarkable book. The entire gripping story is gleaned from 25 years worth of notes, transcripts, forms, files, interviews and testimony. No one's name has been changed because it's all a matter of public record. If transparency is what you want, then this style of non-fiction investigative...

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