Sunday, March 15, 2009

Jennifer Thompson-Cannino & Ron Cotton on Tour


Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ron Cotton, two of the Picking Cotton writers have been making the interview rounds since the book's release a few days ago. In fact, their quest to tell their story of mistaken identity has been featured on some major news programs:




60 Minutes, Part One - Video

60 Minutes, Part Two - Video

The Today Show - Video

Diane Rehm Radio Interview

All Things Considered Radio Interview














My February 28 review

17 comments:

  1. I stayed up late two nights in a row to read this book. I had no idea eyewitness testimony was so unreliable and I had no idea a jury would convict based SOLELY on eyewitness testimony. That is indeed frightening. That Ron Cotton has used his experience for good is testament to his character.

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  2. I mean, I thought a jury would act like the guys in "Twelve Angry Men!"

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  3. The book really did open my eyes about our jury system, Factotum. It pretty much shook my faith in the system...despite my sad tendency to justify that kind of thing by telling myself that even if the criminal in question is not guilty of this particular crime he is likely to have done something equaly as bad and gotten away with it.

    That way of thinking is gone now...way too easy to close my eyes that way. Ronald Cotton's experience will have some positive effects on the world, a very good thing.

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  4. If the juries are composed of people like that of the lady on page 239 of the book who in trying to dissuade Ms. Thompson from apologizing to Mr. Cotton made excuse blaming Mr. Cotton, then more of these wrongful convictions can and will continue to happen. Her safety concerns for Ms. Thompson were reasonable but the dismissive rationalizations of the injustice that had been dealt to Mr. Cotton made by blood boil. I sincerely hope that woman is never anywhere near a jury.

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  5. I agree with you, Anonymous. The jury system is so easily manipulated by shyster lawyers that I don't trust it nearly as much as I used to trust it. Think O.J., etc. for the other side of this coin.

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  6. Truly interesting and very sad. I'm not speaking exactly of Mr. Cotton's situation, but unfortunately that people truly didn't understand both how unreliable eyewitness testimony is, and how much other factors such as race can play such a large part in convictions. Yes, juries will convict on one emotional bit of testimony because it connects with them. Ms. Thompson-Cannino did not lie on the witness stand, so I do not put her in a category of someone who would lie on the witness stand to get what she wanted. No, she clearly and confidently told what she knew as the truth, and she was wrong. This is not an isolated situation, however much we may wish to believe it so.

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  7. Anonymous, that's exactly what I got from the book...changing my whole attitude and trust in eye-witness testimony.

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  8. I can't wait to read the book. After watching this story on TV, I was so touched by Ronald's forgiving Jennifer. What a merciful man!

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  9. It's quite a story, Valerie. I can't imagine myself being half as forgiving as Ron if I were in his shoes. He's amazing.

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  10. I had a man...unlawfully enter my home and try to rape me...I surprised him by waking up, naked, jumping up and screaming...he ran and I chased him...So I got a good look at his clothing and height and body type...The police found a guy walking nearby that night about 20 minutes later...by contact over their cell phones...they told me what he was wearing...I disagreed with what was described and the police tried to make me change my description to match what the guy was wearing...then they took me to him in the police car to identify him and asked me if it was him...I said I wasn't convinced...they said by what percentage...I said 25% maybe...75% NO...They said that was enough...and took him in...

    I went to court...three times in two weeks... to try to tell the judge they had the wrong guy...and each time the judge said that this session is not addressing guilt...finally on the day of court...after two hours waiting...when they called me to testify...I finally got to tell the prosecutor they had the wrong man...the prosecutor got upset at ME and started asking if I had been threatened to change my story...I even brought evidence, that I had been trying to show someone for two weeks...that it wasn't him...They let him go...but he still had to pay for all his lawyer fees...THE MAN WAS MY NEIGHBORS FRIEND...I didn't know how to express my apologies at what had happened to him...I thought...because of me...but it was because of the legal system... THEY WANT TO CONVICT...NO MATTER WHAT...How can I help???

    Susan Carr
    El Cajon, California

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  15. Bottom line: No slander, anonymous or otherwise, will be allowed on the site.

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  16. Just remember folks. We have the worst criminal justice system in the world except for all of the others. Miscarriages of justice like this are very sad.

    But stories like this of Ms Thompson-Cannino's and Mr. Cotton's strength of character help to restore my faith in humanity after listening to all of the horrible things in the news that people do to each other everyday.

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