CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

John Grisham Says the Death Penalty Should Be Abolished

From death penalty in the United States should be “abolished forever,” author John Grisham said Thursday in an interview with The Kansas City Star.

Grisham, whose books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, emphasized he was expressing his personal views.

But in a news conference before the interview, he said supporters of capital punishment should consider how problematic it is to administer. A moratorium should be imposed, the author said.

“I think the system is so badly flawed that all executions should be stopped,” Grisham said.

Grisham was in Kansas City to speak at a dinner benefit for the Midwestern Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing legal aid to prisoners “with persuasive actual innocence claims” in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Arkansas. He said Thursday’s event would raise $100,000 for the cause.

Grisham discussed his recent nonfiction book, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, which chronicled the Oklahoma case that resulted in the wrongful convictions of former minor-league baseball player Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz. Williamson was sentenced to die; Fritz got life in prison.

Both were exonerated after spending years in prison. Williamson died of cirrhosis in December 2004, five years after being freed. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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