Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino
Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

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Synopsis

Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and eventually positively identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken-- but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After eleven years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released, after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face-- and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives.


In their own words, Jennifer and Ronald unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

 

About Jennifer Thompson-Cannino

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JENNIFER THOMPSON-CANNINO lives in North Carolina with her family. She speaks frequently about the need for judicial reform, and is a member of the North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission, the advisory committee for Active Voices, and the Constitution Project. Her op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, the Durham-Herald Sun, and the Tallahassee Democrat. RONALD COTTON lives with his wife and daughter in North Carolina. He has spoken at various schools and conferences including Washington and Lee University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Georgetown Law School, and the Community March for Justice for Troy Anthony Davis in Savannah, GA. ERIN TORNEO is a Los Angeles-based writer. She was a 2007 New York Foundation for the Arts Nonfiction Fellow. The authors received the 2008 Soros Justice Media Fellowship for PICKING COTTON.
 
Published January 5, 2010 by St. Martin's Press. 305 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Picking Cotton

Kirkus Reviews

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(Thompson-Cannino is Caucasian, Cotton African-American.) Convicted prisoners rarely receive attention when claiming innocence from their cells, and they usually lack the money, the legal assistance and the support network to make their assertions heard.

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Examiner

Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton, after Ronald's release.

May 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of...

The Washington Post

Nearly everyone in prison protests innocence, but Ronald Cotton was telling the truth.

May 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of...

Pajiba

Today, Thompson-Cannino and Cotton appear together often as advocates for re-opening cases in which DNA or newer evidence assessment methods might solve cold cases or exonerate the wrongfully convicted.

Jun 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of...

Story Circle Book Reviews

©Copyright to the review is held by the writer (review posting date appears on the review page).

Dec 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of...

Reason Magazine

Radley Balko |

Apr 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of...

California Literary Review

In any case, as slight as Picking Cotton is, one cannot help but wish its authors well, particularly Cotton, who of course got by far the shortest end of the stick (and, if a between-the-lines reading is serviceable, has a far flimsier safety net than Thompson).

Apr 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of...

http://rebeccasreads.com

“Picking Cotton – Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption” is co-authored by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton (with Erin Torneo).

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