Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and…

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2162454,204 (4.11)6

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Picking Cotton begins from the point of view of a woman who is raped at knifepoint by a stranger who has broken into her apartment. She identifies her attacker from a police lineup and he is sentenced to life in prison. He swears he is innocent. After spending eleven years in prison he is exonerated on DNA evidence. The woman identified the wrong man.

I am really amazed by the authors of this book. Their emotional strength and capacity for forgiveness is unreal. The woman and the man she accused become friends and go on speaking tours together about issues surrounding the criminal justice system. To forgive someone who sent you to prison for eleven years is unreal. To have the courage to survive rape, deal with the guilt of accusing the wrong person, and ask his forgiveness is inspiring.

It is an amazing story but the writing is clumsy at times. I heard an interview with the authors on NPR and I like their speaking much better than the writing. Still a good read. 3.5 stars. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Despite a few spots where the narrative betrays more than ghostwriter's voice than those of the principal actors, this account of a rape, subsequent proceedings and eventual exoneration and reconciliation is well-told. The larger moral is that eye-witness testimony is extraordinarily unreliable, yet our criminal justice system often relies upon nothing more than accusing finger-pointing to damn defendants to imprisonment and even death. Sobering account, a must-read for anyone so simple as to believe that only the guilty wind up in prison. ( )
  dono421846 | Jan 21, 2015 |
True story. Jennifer was raped in her apartment as a college student. She memorizes her rapist's features, then picks him out of a lineup at the police station later in the week. She testifies at the trial that he really is the right guy…twice. And Ronald Cotton is incarcerated for her rape. But he is innocent. 11 years later, he is exonerated, and Jennifer is mortified that she picked the wrong person in the line up. The true rapist wasn't in the line-up, and her memory, along with non-verbal cues from the police, caused her to believe that Ronald was the criminal. Now the two do joint public speaking engagements, and help law enforcement change practices, so this doesn't happen again. ( )
  nancynova | Oct 22, 2014 |
Excellent book and a very different type of memoir regarding innocent prisoners and rape victims. Jennifer and Ronald seem to have a very unique relationship. I also found her take on the death of the man who actually raped her just mind-blowing! I don't think I would have been able to do that! Wish I'd known about this book sooner so I could have included it in an essay a few months back. ( )
  briannad84 | Sep 4, 2013 |
I am an attorney, and as an attorney you are taught to marshal the facts you have before you and organize them into a cogent argument for your position. That is what the prosecutor in this book did. However, this tunnel visioned manner of carrying out justice resulted in a man who was innocent being incarcerated for 11 years. This book is dually narrated by Ron Cotton, the man who was wrongfully incarcerated, and Jennifer Thompson, a woman who was raped and was certain that Cotton was the one who did this to her.
I was really moved to see how these two people built a friendship across a boundary that seems insurmountable. So often in life you become angry at someone who you feel has wronged you and come to a place where you think you can never forgive. It is quite a lesson to try to understand how Ron Cotton could forgive Jennifer Thompson for supplying the erroneous eye witness testimony.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the criminal justice system as well as anyone who is interested in developing their ability to forgive. ( )
  elmoelle | Aug 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Ronald Cotton stands a few rows behind Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, watching as she cranes her head trough the crowd, looking for him among the faces of the parents who have come out to watch their children play soccer.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312376537, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The story behind the unlikely friendship which developed between the accused rapist Ronald Cotton--who served eleven years in prison for a crime he didn't commit--and his accuser, Jennifer Thompson, raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
92 wanted3 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.11)
2 2
3 11
3.5 7
4 32
4.5 10
5 23


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,955,261 books! | Top bar: Always visible