The latest John Grisham novel has just been published. Entitled The Confession, it is Grisham’s second work that fights against the death penalty – Grisham already became a vital and vocal opponent of capital punishment with his non-fiction best seller, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.
The Innocent Man came out four years ago as John Grisham’s first non-fiction endeavor. In it, Grisham takes his extensive research and writes about Ron Williamson, a local baseball hero from a small Oklahoma town who was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for a rape and murder that he did not commit. The Innocent Man allowed Grisham to tour the country, simultaneously promoting his book while educating people on the realities of capital punishment and life on Death Row today.
It’s a good read, not the Truman Capote nonfiction novel type of story, but more of a forthright, almost newspaper-like piece. And, now it has a companion work – a matching bookend, if you will, in The Confession.
The Confession – Buy It for the Read, and In Support of John Grisham’s Dedication
The Confession was officially released today by Doubleday, and hopefully it will garner lots of media coverage and favorable reviews. Because once again, Grisham takes his considerable talent and parlays it into a legal thriller that provides much-needed education for those members of the public that may not know or understand some of the realities of the American death penalty in the criminal justice system today.
What is The Confession about? From Doubleday:
For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside. He doesn’t understand how the police and prosecutors got the wrong man, and he certainly doesn’t care. He just can’t believe his good luck. Time passes and he realizes that the mistake will not be corrected: the authorities believe in their case and are determined to get a conviction. He may even watch the trial of the person wrongly accused of his crime. He is relieved when the verdict is guilty. He laughs when the police and prosecutors congratulate themselves. He is content to allow an innocent person to go to prison, to serve hard time, even to be executed.
Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.
Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what’s right and confess.
But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man?