As the novel opens, we are greeted by Ron Williamson who is a character from the small town of Ada, Oklahoma, which is one of those types of places no one even knew, existed. Williamson is very much thought of like the star quarterback on the college football team. He was “Mr. Popularity” throughout high school; always being the one to round up the gang for a party every weekend. He was a very talented athlete and never passed up a ball game. Williamson was on the honor roll throughout high school, a straight A-grade student, and was recognized many times for his performance as a student at school and his performance as an athlete on the field. His success did not end after high school, but rather he went on to play for the major league in baseball and was recognized for his performance over and over again leading the draft picks many seasons. Ron had dreamed of being a ‘big-star’ and a ‘hit’ in the major leagues just as he was on his hometown team, but unfortunately for him he never did reach such heights.
As a young man, struggling with the challenges of adulthood, Williamson tried repeatedly not to slip into the unspoken lifestyle of many popular athletes – clubs, partying, the drugs and alcohol, gambling, and ‘risqué’ behavior. However, there came a day where the pressures where just too much to bear for young Williamson and he tripped and fell head first into the lifestyle he vowed to avoid for so long. The major leagues quickly put a boot to this behavior and as a result, Williamson found himself wondering around and being thrown in every direction. He became known as the official “guinea pig” of the majors and found himself bouncing from team to team season after season. His teammates and coaches were not the only one...
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... the Criminal Justice system. The author offers the reader a front row seat to the unfairness and unreliability of the CJ system. Grisham is not a fair writer himself and is biased in his writing throughout the entire novel. It is evident to the reader by the end of the novel that the prosecution in the case went to every extreme possible to put Fritz and Williamson in prison for a crime they did not commit. From the reader’s perspective, we knew from the beginning that Fritz and Williamson, no matter how much negative behavior they engaged in, were not the criminals and that there was a high likelihood of Gore being the offender. Nevertheless, Grisham takes us on a wild, nail-biting edge-of-your-seat ride through the Criminal Justice system in this book that leads us through an unfair trial and a slew of biased opinions, lies and deceptions and unjust procedures.
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