Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton and Erin Torneo.

pickingbookcover.phpA 22 years old college woman was raped at a knife point in the middle of a summer night on her own bed. She managed to study her attacker’s facial features and everything about him during the rape. She thought that would help her to correctly identify this assailant.

Jennifer picked Ronald Cotton among other men in a line-up because of Ronald’s seemingly close resemblance to her assailant.  Ronald Cotton was arrested, but he was sure he would beat this accusation, because he hadn’t raped Jennifer, and he was sure he could prove it, unfortunately, his alibi was not enough to free him. Ronald Cotton was convicted of Jennifer’s rape and another woman who was raped the same night.

Ronald Cotton was given eleven years in prison despite the lack of a convincing evident. He was transferred to various prisons, but coincidentally ended up in the same prison with another inmate serving life for a similar crime. This inmate confessed the crime to another inmate who happened to like Ronald but the confession was thrown out.
Ronald Cotton was exonerated after eleven years behind bars based on a DNA test. The result of the DNA pointed to the inmate who had earlier confessed to the crime.

Jennifer did not get in touch with Ronald right after his release because of guilt and fear.  Ronald’s faith, family and his personality helped him to get over his hurt and forgave the woman who accidentally robbed him of 11 years of life. What happened when Jennifer and Ronald finally reunited was the result of forgiveness and redemption..

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