Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Prosecutor and criminal investigator, discredited by various authors for outrageous prosecutions, decide to sue, sue, sue, sue, sue everybody

If you’ve read the best-selling non-fiction book “The Innocent Man” by John Grisham, you’re familiar with the tale of the prosecutor and the criminal investigator who nearly sent wrongly accused Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz to the death chamber for a murder they didn’t commit.

Undone by DNA evidence that exonerated the victims who’d been convicted on the basis of coerced confessions, coerced “witnesses” and sloppy investigation, prosecutor Bill Peterson nevertheless refused to retract the notion that Williamson and Fritz were guilty.

But wait, there’s more: three other books alleging prosecutorial – ah, shall we call them “errors” – not only in the Williamson and Fritz Trials but also in another murder case.

Man, if these guys – best-selling authors like John Grisham, attorneys of national stature like Barry Scheck, organizations like the Innocence Project, and publishers like Doubleday Dell, Random House, Broadway Books and Seven Locks Press all keep putting out books about the way you do your job, pretty soon somebody might start thinking that essentially you’re a conspirator in a pinstriped suit, willing to put innocent men to death for – well, who knows what reason, although I can imagine a few having to do with, oh, perhaps sheer ego, or career advancement and wanton disregard for the lives of innocent people.

So Prosecutor Peterson, along with former Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation gumshoe Gary Rogers are suing in an Oklahoma Federal court. According to the September 28th issue of the Tulsa, OK, World, their laundry-list of defendants against charges of libel and slander include:

•John Grisham, author of “The Innocent Man.”
•Robert Mayer, author of “The Dreams of Ada.”
•Dennis Fritz, the author of “Journey Toward Justice.”
•Barry Scheck, one of Fritz’s lawyers who helped exonerate him, and a co-author of “Actual Innocence,” that discusses the case of Williamson and Fritz.
•The Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, publisher of “The Innocent Man” and “Actual Innocence.”
•Random House Inc., which owns Doubleday Dell.
•Broadway Books, publisher of “The Dreams of Ada.”
•Seven Locks Press and/or James C. Riordan, publisher of “Journey Toward Justice.”

You’ll find more complete details here, with a link to the Tulsa World article:

I would fervently wish that the jury will decide to assign court and legal costs to the loser, except for one little problem:

Oklahoma juries seem to have a bad habit of regularly deciding against the wrong people. (See any of the books listed above.)

1 comment:

BARRY said...

Keep it up, Crank. We need a little of your "up yours" here in New Mexico.