Abolition. The stimulating legal issue of interest in John Grisham’s novel, The Confession, is the death penalty. Set in Texas, the plot reveals all the potential weak links in the criminal justice system, and the irreversible consequences when the system kills an innocent person. In the case at the center of the novel, Grisham uses a heavy hand rather than nuance to present the flaws of the system: a coerced confession; a prosecutor and judge with conflicts of interest; disengaged appeals justices; a governor whose interest is politics, not justice. Grisham’s characters are more caricature than recognizable people. Honest professionals in the criminal justice system will be offended by Grisham’s extreme case. Any reader will come away from this novel with a single conclusion: the death penalty makes no sense and should be abolished. Readers who like novels with a clear point of view will like this book, as will those who prefer plot over character.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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