Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

By Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo | St. Martin's Press | $25.95 | 298 pages | 2009

Jennifer Thompson picked Ronald Cotton from a photo display and a lineup after being raped in 1984 while a student at Elon College in Burlington, N.C. Cotton was convicted. He served almost 11 years until freed by DNA and a confession from the rapist, Bobby Poole. That's the bad news.

The good news is that Jennifer and Ron and their spouses and children have become friends. The two victims crusade against injustice caused by perjurious testimony and mistaken eyewitness identification.

An excellent audio version is available from Tantor for $29.99, read by Richard Allen and Karen White.


Donald F. Paine DONALD F. PAINE is a past president of the Tennessee Bar Association and is of counsel to the Knoxville firm of Paine, Tarwater, and Bickers LLP. He lectures for the Tennessee Law Institute, BAR/BRI Bar Review, Tennessee Judicial Conference, and UT College of Law. He is reporter to the Supreme Court Advisory Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure.