The disgrace and heart-wrenching treatment of Ron Williamson continued for quite some time in the the beginning of this reading. Even when Williamson's mental illness is so physically apparent as well, the courts deny him adequate mental health care.
Thank goodness for Judge Seay, fro he finally sees all that was amis in the first circus act of a trial. Even with all the demands, I don't think that Ron Williamson would have been admitted to Special care Unit if it weren't for getting him well enough, competency wise, to be executed. I am so sorry, but that is just something I cannot grasp. I mean, what happened to the concern for competency before the trials.
After 9 years, Williamson finally gets a competency trial. I was so angry when I read that Barney knew that Peterson and the police set Ron Williamson up. How could he, as a human, allow someone to suffer all these years and await execution? I can't fathom it. I would not be able to sleep.
I truly believe that Ron Williamson's ever so small friendships that were forged and his own innocence kept him alive. I mean, physically he was just so deteriorated by his mental health. Human connections, however small, can really keep someone going that extra mile.
I can't imagine the anger that Debbie Carter's family feels after the findings of the DNA and that Gore is the match to both testings.
I could picture the smiles that Grisham talks about in Bob's Barbecue, when Fritz and Williamson kept smiling big smiles with mouths full of bbq.
I can't believe that the Pastor and others acted that way to Annette and Ron and the others in the family. I can't say I blame her for not returning.
I was so very sad reading about the trip to the stadium. I guess I wonder if he had gotten mental health care earlier in his life and others had seen the sign, if he could have maintained himself on meds well enough to actually have a career in some type of sports area even if it was actually on the mound.
I am glad that the two decided to file a lawsuit. Forgiveness is one thing...but this went, in my opinion, well beyond the decision to forgive and move forward or not.
How sad is it, that even after all the torment suffered in jail, he had his own personal torment to deal with after his exoneration. He always seemed at war with himself or something. Even in the end, he wrote he just wanted eternal rest.
What a shocking and sad story. I wonder if anyone that read this has changed their position on death penalties. I have never taken a stance on it. Now, however, I ponder it every time I walk by this book. It really has me thinking and feeling awful about how many may have suffered like this and died on death row that were in actuality.....innocent.
Post by Blossom/Jackie W. on Mar 9, 2010 8:41:59 GMT -5
A very good summation Aero. TY for it AND the book choice.
I smiled as well .... imagining them "chowing down" at the the Bar B Que place.
As for the pastor...... I have no use whatsoever (or respect) for people like that.... sanctimonious; holier than thou ........%$^&*)&^ Bible thumping hypocrites and I've known/know a few in my life....
It's quite possible had Ron received treatment early on that he could have had a successful career and life. I think his mother (and the father too) in some ways, and in their intent to do good and give him all the opportunities, could have also held him more accountable. I don't want to say their love for their son was misdirected but perhaps because of love... it blinded them a bit.
And yes; I totally support the lawsuit and frankly if I'd had it my way some of those in the judicial system would have also been spending a bit of time behind bars themselves. You know; Ron was a lot of things over the years and certainly not someone you might want to bring home to meet your parents, yet even through all his psychosis and internal and external H ell; he knew and he maintained his innocence.
The biggest frustration I felt was how long it took the wheels of justice to move even when it became clear that they'd made a mistake.
As for the death penalty...... I've never believed in it. If just one person's life is taken wrongly (ands I know it's happened) then it should be abolished. And yes even in those cases where the crime was horrific and without a doubt......
You're right ... it was shocking Aero and quite sad...... but; a good read and a reminder of what can, and maybe still does, go on......
What a story, so many people suffered unjustly just because some had preconceived ideas and didn't care about anything more than clearing the books. The whole system was in need of an overhaul. How anyone can stand trial and not even be mentaly stable enough to be in court is beyond me. As for the way he was treated when he was released is terrible. Even the pastor and church that he and the family had attended for years, turned their backs on him. How discusting, they need to be ashamed. I felt so sorry for Deb.s family who had to endure this farce. Their pain was never allowed to heal. And after all that the cops and prosecuter still wanted to try to charge Ron with the murder even in the face of all the evidence showing Gore to be the one who killed her. I have to agree, it had to be his need to clear his name and a few constant friends that gave Ron the will to carry on. I really think that when he was freed and won his lawsuit he had just had enough of this life and went 'home'. I have always been against the death penalty, even though sometimes the desire for an eye for and eye is very strong. I just do not think that we can ever be 100% sure, and that doubt would be enough to stay my hand. I do belive in life in prison and by that I do mean for the remainder of his/her natural life, no parole no 25yr life sentence with time off for being 'good', and out in 10. I do belive in humane care, health care including metal health, work programs, and decent food, but he/she would never be free. Anyway, this book sure made me feel a lot of emotions, and do a lot of thinking. I cried, I raged, I hoped. This was a good pick Aero. Thank you, I read something I would not have chosen on my own, and that is good.
Yep, I agree that the love of their son definitely blinded them. Ron knew his mother believed in his innocence and he seemed to fall back on that a few times. He also knew that she had given him an alibi for the time of the murder.
I believe that prisoners should receive good care also. I think the death penalty was being phased out and therefore, I never really did have to give it much thought. I do now.
This book did trigger alot of different emotions. Being taken out of the comfort zone on some of the reading is definitely what the book club is about.
They certainly did use caution with Gore being prosecuted for the crime. The police did not exclude Ron and Dennis....how utterly ridiculus. I also believe that the investigators in this case needed to do some time.
I have been thinking about this too....the cirrhosis of the liver. I believe that the randomness of dosing to calm Williamson down in the jail was a definite contributing factor. It was never stated for certain, but I just truly believe it. Lithium is a very powerful drug and there is very strict monitoring with it.
How very sad that there were not programs set in place to help these two adjust better when they were released. It seems both had such a hard time doing so. But, I guess in doing that, the county would have had to admit the wrongdoing.
When I was (much) younger, I was a proponent of the death penalty for cases involving children and peace officers, but that was back in the day when I saw everything as black or white, right or wrong, with no in between. Age, experience as well as the all too many false convictions brought to light with the improvement of Dna testing has certainly changed my mind and this case is sad proof of that. My hope is that making public these stories by someone with Grisham's prominence will have a positive effect and influence on the justice system. Great read Aero;educational and entertaining at the same time. I look forward to our next selection.
Post by Blossom/Jackie W. on Mar 16, 2010 9:15:52 GMT -5
You know.... it's interesting that we'd just read this book and last week when I was on the TM I had Dr Phil on while I was walking. What was the topic. Folks who'd been wrongly convicted and spent Years in jail. One fellow was in for years and not long ago met with his accusor. They're both healing but have a bond if you can believe it. Another fellow was in for 22 years..... spent 11 of them on death row. And yeahp; through DND testing and a couple less minor things that came to surface.... he was exhonerated.
I've got 2 books in mind....though I've read them before it was many years ago. Unfortunately they're pretty heavy duty. One is All Quiet on the Western Front (it's kind of graphic but I really thing they should make it mandatory reading in high school). It's not a long book..... and frankly it might be too much for many..... or QB VII . It too is heavy and it's a LONG book. They're not the types I normally read but the 2nd one in particular gave me a lot of insight and understanding ......
Plot Summary...... "Adam Kelno has made it to England in the days following World War II. Having escaped from a death camp in Nazi Europe, he finds that his identification with anti-communists in Poland has made him a target of the Soviet Government, which brings up war crime charges against him in England. When the witness is unable to identify him as one of the doctors who castrated him, he is released. Kelno takes his wife and young son to Arabia where he labors for years upgrading public health standards. Upon his return to England he is Knighted. Twenty years have passed and he has just begun to enjoy his life of renown when a book is published that names him as a willing participant to Nazi medical experiments on Jews in the camps. He sues for defamation and finds that not only can he not escape his past, but that the plaintiff a defamation case has his own reputation on trial. QB VII refers to the courtroom in which the trial is held, Queen's Bench, Room 7. "
That summary sounds good. Is it the QB VII or All's Quiet, I am confused but I guess I will research them. I was thinking of serious too. I had picked up a book, "Auschwitz". So I guess we all were thinking along the same lines.
I will post the summaries, but maybe others want to post suggestions?
Thanks Mary and Jackie.
I am sorry I didn't know about the Dr. Phil. But maybe I can catch a rerun. Thanks for the heads up on that.