Friday, February 4, 2011

This Sounds Familiar - John Grisham on Presiding Judge Keller

I've been reading John Grisham's new book The Confession.  In it, Grisham takes a shot at Texas' capital punishment scheme and some of the major players.  Without giving away too much, the book is about an innocent man who is about to be executed for a murder to which he confessed, but did not commit.  As I was reading about the last minute court filings, I told me wife, "I bet the Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is going to deny one of the filings because it arrives too late."  Sure enough, the Texas Defender Group sends a runner to the court's offices on the day of the execution and, at 5:07 pm, she is denied access and is unable to make her filing.  The Presiding Judge, who Grisham paints as a callous and calculating figure, meanwhile, is at an Austin tennis club playing tennis with a very wealthy campaign donor.

I haven't read the rest of it yet.  I just found it interesting to see Grisham use Judge Keller and the Richards execution in his book.  So far, the book is chocked full of legal cliches designed to titillate the average reader.  It is not exactly original.  But I like Grisham's books for the most part, so I reckon I'll keep reading.  If he's truly a death penalty advocate, however, and he really wants to win people to his side through this book, he'll let the innocent man die.  We'll see.