The Innocent Man Book Response Essay

810 WordsJun 19, 20134 Pages
The Innocent Man Book Response In today’s society the criminal justice system that we live in is flawed in so many ways. Some say that it works while others go to prison or jail for crimes that they didn’t commit. In this paper I will be covering specific examples from the book, The Innocent Man, where the defendant’s rights were violated. John Grisham talks about innocent men being innocent and convicted for murder and sent to unlawful court proceedings. In this paper I will be focusing mainly on the violations of his 6th amendment. The 6th amendment is the right to effective assistance of counsel. Now Mr. Williamson was a very indigent or poor man and because of that he couldn’t afford a great attorney. Therefore he was assigned…show more content…
This violation being in the form of a videotape, which could have completely changed the outcome of the case. On this videotape there was a full confession from Ricky Simmons. Barney Ward knew all about this videotape (as it was shared with him along with all other information) yet he chose not to bring this evidence to the table and share it with the jury. Judge Jones ruled that the tape was not a Brady violation. “The tape was not really hidden; it was handed over after the trial, sort of a delayed submission (Grisham pg. 258)”.This one piece of evidence alone would have been enough to change the opinions of the jury and change the outcome of the trail. However because Barney Ward did NOT show this video, this is a clear violation of Mr. Williamson’s 6th Amendment, which guarantees that in all criminal prosecutions there must be an “effective” assistance of counsel (Cole and Smith pg. 84). In my opinion at no point in this trial was Ron Williamson’s attorney an “effective assistance of counsel”. Now the last example of how Ron Williamson’s 6th Amendment was violated was as the very beginning of all this. During the investigation of the crime scene, the police conducting the search had found two hair samples. There was no proof that either of these belonged to Mr. Williamson, however they still claimed that it had come from the scalp of Mr. Williamson. However this is just a claim and Barney Ward knew that and should have jumped on this opportunity. Mr. Ward
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