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New York Times Bestseller
Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice & Redemption


This book will break your heart and lift it up again….
a touching and beautiful example of the power of faith and forgiveness. Its message of hope should reverberate far beyond
the halls of justice.

Helen Prejean, CSJ, Author of Dead Man Walking

Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. Wearing only a blanket, she escaped and told police she was certain she could identify the man who had been inches from her face. She eventually picked Ronald Cotton out of a lineup. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken—but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After serving eleven years in prison for a crime he never committed, Ronald—was released when a DNA test proved his innocence.

Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face—and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives. In this true and inspiring story, Jennifer and Ronald offer an unprecedented first-person glimpse into what happens when the system fails both the victim and the accused. Paced like the most riveting of thrillers and packed with page-turning twists and turns, this unforgettable book challenges our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

What happens in this book will
change what you think of the criminal justice system in this country, and challenge you to help fix it… an extraordinary story about crime, punishment and exoneration.... compelling and profound.

Barry C. Scheck, Co-Founder & Co-Director, The Innocence Project®

[A] remarkable testament... powerful... A MUST read.

Studs Terkel,
Author of The Good War

Few people have done more to put a human face on issues involving wrongful convictions than Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton. Yet through their shared pain, they have been able to forge a friendship that most of us search our lives for.

Janet Reno,
Former U.S. Attorney General

…riveting…a well-modulated and generously balanced memoir…at once a devastating and uplifting crash course in the criminal justice system.

Publisher's Weekly