Life through my eyes......
Monday, August 18, 2008
Done with the first book and here's what I thought.
First the book was pretty darn near close to the movie which is called Heavens' Fall (which stars Timothy Hutton, Azura Skye and one of my baby daddies Anthony Mackie).
The book by no means a factual representation of what the whole case is about however the author stayed pretty close to the facts and even obtained real transcripts from the case and quoted them in her version of the story.
I enjoyed the book and will probably read other books by her. It's funny cause when I read a book that has a movie adaptation of course I visualize the characters and I can totally see why they chose some of the actors to play these individuals.
Here was the outcome of the real case:
In this retrial, Haywood Patterson (d. 1952) was again convicted of rape, but sentenced to 75 years in prison rather than the death penalty—the first time a black man had been sentenced to anything other than death in the rape of a white woman in Alabama. Haywood Patterson escaped in 1948 and fled to Detroit, Michigan. In 1950 he published a book called The Scottsboro Boy about his ordeal; shortly afterwards was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, Governor of Michigan G. Mennen Williams would not allow him to be extradited back to Alabama.
In July 1937, Clarence Norris (d. January 23, 1989) was convicted of rape and sexual assault and sentenced to death. Later, Governor of Alabama Bibb Graves reduced Clarence Norris' death sentence to life in prison. He was paroled in 1946. Norris was later pardoned by Governor George Wallace, and in 1979 he published The Last of the Scottsboro Boys, an autobiography co-written with Sybil D. Washington.
Andy Wright was convicted of rape and sentenced to 99 years. He was paroled, then violated parole and was re-imprisoned, then finally released in 1950.
Charlie Weems was convicted of rape and sentenced to 75 years in prison. He was paroled in 1943, having served 20 years in some of the worst prisons in the nation.
Ozzie Powell pleaded guilty to assaulting a sheriff (during a previous escape attempt) and was sentenced to 20 years, and the state dropped the rape charges against him in return. After Powell had assaulted the deputy with a razor (and, according to him, had surrendered), he was shot in the head, and consequently suffered permanent brain damage. He was released in 1946.
Roy Wright (d. 1959), age 12 at the time of the alleged crime had all charges against him dropped; the state said that they felt that given his age, and time served, he should now be released.
Eugene Williams, age 13 at the time of the alleged crime had all charges against him dropped, for the same reasons given for Wright.
Olen Montgomery, who was nearly blind and had been found alone in a car at the end of the train had all charges against him dropped, as the state announced that after consideration, they now believed him to be not guilty.
Willie Roberson, who was suffering acutely from syphilis and could barely walk at the time of the alleged crime, also had all charges against him dropped, for the same reasons given for Montgomery.
The four who had charges dropped had spent over 6 years in prison on death row without trial.
Governor Graves had planned to pardon all of the defendants before he left office in 1938. However, during the customary pre-pardon interview, Graves was angered by the mens' hostility towards him and refusal to admit their guilt, so he did not issue pardons.
It's sad that many of these men lead lives of crimes even after they released probably based on the traumatic experience they had just for being black. I tell ya.
Next up one of my favorite authors: Mary Higgins Clark..I discovered her in High school and have loved how she puts together a story and I can always visualize the story as I'm reading it. Her daughter also writes pretty good books as well.
Here is a brief overview: At the start of bestseller Clark's riveting new novel of suspense, Kay Lansing recalls her first visit as a six-year-old to the Carrington estate in Englewood, N.J., where her father worked as a landscaper. Twenty-two years later, she returns to ask the present owner, Peter Carrington, if she can use the mansion for a fund-raiser. The two fall madly in love, and after a whirlwind courtship, they marry despite the shadow of suspicion that hangs over Peter regarding the death of a neighbor's daughter two decades earlier and the drowning of his first wife four years before. After an idyllic honeymoon, the couple return to New Jersey, where a magazine article has caused the police to reopen the cases. The subsequent discovery of two bodies buried on the estate causes even Kay to doubt her husband's innocence.
Hmmm very very interesting, Mary Higgins also has a few of her books made into movies (like Danielle Steele) so I always enjoy watching those as well.
I'll let ya know what I think when I'm done, but she's never let me down.