Blackwell Library

2012-2013 New Student Reader

 

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton
with Erin Torneo

About the Book

Jennifer Thompson-Cannino 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 11 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 the Authors

 

                                      

Jennifer Thompson, a native North Carolinian and mother of teenage triplets, has become an outspoken opponent on the death penalty and speaks frequently about the need for judicial reform. She is a member of the Actual Innocence Commission, advisory committee for Active Voices, member of the Constitution Project and Mother's for Justice.

Ronald Cotton lives with his wife and daughter in North Carolina and currently works at an insulation plant. 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.