Prosecutor Starts Website In Response...

Prosecutor Starts Website In Response To Grisham Book

There are 53 comments on the KTHV-TV Little Rock story from Feb 14, 2007, titled Prosecutor Starts Website In Response To Grisham Book. In it, KTHV-TV Little Rock reports that:

Pontotoc County District Attorney Bill Peterson in Oklahoma has put up a website in response to a book by best-selling author John Grisham, which criticizes the wrongful conviction of two men on murder charges.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at KTHV-TV Little Rock.

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Stephanie Zelenski

Cleveland, OH

#1 Mar 7, 2007
Wow, what a great website. When reading the book, I kept thinking that some of this made no sense. Now after reading the prosecutors rebuttal, I know that Grisham took liberal license with the truth. He should be ashamed for not researching his information. Some people think True Crime means the truth. FAR FROM IT!
garcia

United States

#2 Apr 6, 2007
did they murder her? it does not appear so. look at the big pictue. you needed someone, and you made a mistake, everyone does. i meet someone at a airport that was from ada, he could not believe that you where still the da, i can not either. you made very good points about the book, but you did not do your job well. if i lived there i would never vote for you. you are what give lawyers a bad name. you where just trying to save your job. one last thing, how much did it cost your town for your mistake. how many other people have you prosecuted that where not guilty. people like you scare me.
allen c johnson

Athens, GA

#3 Apr 19, 2007
why is that jack ass still a prosecuter in the county or any where else. mr peterson you should hung by the neck.
allen c johnson

Athens, GA

#4 Apr 19, 2007
mr. peterson should be put in the same cell as mr. williamson for the 11 years that ron spent in.
David

Japan

#5 Sep 1, 2007
The prosecutor has the liberty of critiquing thousands of facts about the case, of which Grisham may have misrepresented some 10%. However, the facts appear to show that the prosecutor, judge, and law enforcement officers disregarded the Constitution and ruined 4 lives (including those jailed for the Haraway murder)! Some may be "church-going" citizens, but they should all be ashamed of themselves.
Tom

Hightstown, NJ

#6 Sep 5, 2007
Bill Peterson is a self-consumed moron. If you argue right you can never be wrong. That's what he did but it seems that the rest of the town of Ada seems to have his moron gene. Maybe they are all related. Probably actaully. I will never step foot in Oklahoma ever in my life. It almost seems like the Middle East. He should have done his job, like most people do day in and day out. I can't believe he is still the district attorney absolutely shocked. John Grisham maybe against the death penalty but he he did win the argument against Bill Peterson. Whether either of them are right it doesn't matter because Grisham won the argument. By the way the death penalty is an unresolveable issue. Proving someone wrong makes you right.
Jimmijedi

UK

#7 Sep 15, 2007
Beyond reasonable doubt Mr Petersen. You do not appear to be a reasonable man. If Grisham is making it up why do you not sue him? If Grisham is telling it like it happened then I wouldn't like to drive through your state. Gore was an obvious choice and should have been fully investigated. How about a belated apology. Even if you did believe in their guilt it appears you got it completely wrong. REASONABLE DOUBT!!
Scott

Lancaster, OH

#8 Oct 3, 2007
I'm with you Tom, I'm staying away from Oklahoma. I'm just beside myself trying to understand Bill Peterson. He is the epitome of evil. Maybe Bush will hire him.
Donna

Reno, NV

#9 Oct 3, 2007
Bill Peterson is a complete corrupt moron. The
books that Dennis Fritz and John Grisham wrote are
the absoulute truth. In fact two others were prosecuted over twenty years ago by Bill Peterson.
Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot. They were coherce by
Bill Peterson into telling about a dream they had
to convict them. I am in contact with these two through letters quite frequently. Bill Peterson
will lose this case....I have the most complete confidence in it. If anyone has caused Bill Peterson alot of stress he has brought it up on hisself. I hope he gets what he deserves a slap in
the face and to lose his position. Bill Peterson
needs to feel the pain Dennis Fritz and Ron Williamson felt when they were locked up for twelve years. I congratulate John Grisham and Dennis Fritz on their victory. For those who have
not read the book "The Dreams Of Ada" please do so
I feel this will also, explain the devious Bill
Peterson.
Sooner Fan

Woodward, OK

#10 Oct 4, 2007
I live in Pontotoc County, OK now, and I lived here when Debbie Carter was murdered. I remember the trial very well. Having lived here for 30 years I look at the situation in a little different light than people who aren't from here might.

From the Daily Oklahoman, Friday, Spetember 28, 2007: "The lawsuit claims the defendants (Grisham, et al) conspired to commit libel against the plaintiffs (Peterson, Rogers), generate publicity for self interest by placing them in a false light and intentionally inflicting emotional distress upon them."

It seems rather ironic to me that those are some of the same tactics Peterson used to prosecute two innocent men for the murder of Debra Sue Carter.

You know the most ironic thing about it all? Petersons start witness, Glen Gore, was the man who murdered Ms. Carter.

The civil complaint also alleges Grisham made public statements characterizing Peterson as "the No. 1 bad guy". Peterson IS the No. 1 bad guy for prosecuting two men for murder simply because he was under pressure to "wrap up this case".

Welcome to the justice system in small town Oklahoma. No one ever said it was fair or right, it's just a matter of that's how it is.

The biggest problem Bill Peterson has with Mr. Grisham's book is the fact that someone with some stroke was able to shed light on the truth of the matter in a VERY public way and Mr. Peterson has been shown to be look like the idiot he truly is.
Angus

UK

#11 Oct 9, 2007
Dear Bill

I thank you for your effort in putting together your website.
And yes, as a fellow public servant (I am a family doctor in Scotland) I understand the notions of 'trying our best' and also of being fallible.

I am also a Christian, and understand that you are a lay reader in your church. I therefore write to you as one professing Christian to another.

I ask myself what is really needed in such a set of circumstances - when a mistake has been made, when a person feels that they have done their best, and when there is a best selling novel written which has portrayed that person in a bad light.

What it all boils down to is not your own reputation, or even that of John Grisham.
Jesus would counsel that the first thing that is required is a clear admission of guilt from yourself for prosecuting an innocent man to a death sentence - even though you were trying your best. The second would be an apology, the third would be to seek to provide restitution and relief for the innocent men involved and the fourth would be for you to resign from your post.

All of these 4 steps could be done with a clear conscience that you did your best according to your abilities at the time

Unfortunately you have chosen to simply defend yourself on your website. You have not sought to promote God's glory at all (as would have been evident by more expressions of remorse, concern and apology), but have sought to enhance your own reputation.

But really, your own reputation isn't the issue here at all. It is God's reputation, and your unwillingness to focus on that simply makes your own reputation worse instead of better.

Thanks again for trying,

Yours,

Angus
Michael

United States

#12 Oct 9, 2007
Here is something I read on a blog.. Dennis Fritz Responds To Lawsuit Author of Journey Toward Justice
“The problem is that Mr. Peterson convicted two innocent men, sent Ronnie and I to the penitentiary for 12 years, based upon alleged evidence that did not go beyond a reasonable doubt.”Fritz said the lawsuit is merely a power play by Peterson “to regain what he has lost because of his actions, or mis-actions.”
“He cannot handle the truth that’s been brought out in both Mr. Grisham’s book as well as mine. Dennis Fritz said every word in his book is true as he remembered the events of that time.
“Factually, it’s backed up exactly by every word out of the transcript,” he said.
Fritz said that Peterson achieved their convictions through “several huge mistakes, worse than mistakes, travesties of justice.”
“He doesn’t want to face the truth, really, of what happened,” he said.“He wants to try to make everybody believe that, in fact, he has not done anything wrong.”
I just want to say every word, every part of my book, is 100 percent factual." Fritz said from his home.
District Attorney Bill Peterson and Gary Rogers, a former agent for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, have named Grisham, Fritz and several others in a lawsuit.
The two men, Peterson and Rogers were involved in the arrest and prosecution and wrongful conviction of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, in the murder of cocktail waitress Debbie Sue Carter in Ada, Okla. Williamson and Fritz were freed after 12 years in prison, exonerated by DNA evidence.
Grisham's, "The Innocent Man" and Fritz's ,"Journey Toward Justice" chronicled the history of the case and the experiences of the two men.
A movie based on Grisham's book focusing on Ron Williamson's life reportedly is in the works with George Clooney producing it.
Gary Richardson the attorney for Peterson is quoted in Tulsa World News as saying "Hopefully, they'll make more money so we'll have more to go after them on." he said laughing.
The problem with Bill

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#13 Nov 1, 2007
Is that he appears to think the book is about him, and is a personal vendetta against him. It's not - it's about two men who were wrongly convicted and imprisoned, the circumstances that brought this about, and the characters involved. Bill just happens to be one of the characters and despite his comments - words were not taken out of his mouth and he chose to take a particular course of action and not sway from that action.

He attempts to take a swipe at Mr Grisham in one of his letters with the comments about Grisham's pal, Barry Scheck, coming to the rescue at the last moment, and claiming the glory. And he's right on that point - because Barry Scheck is the last resort when the Justice System has failed. The Innocence projects shouldn't even have to be in existence -the fact that they are is a sad indictment on a Justice system that is failing in its obligations to all concerned. If Mr Peterson had not allowed his own bias to take such a hold on his opinions, there would have been no need for Mr Scheck, no book by John Grisham.
Wrongful Convictions

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#14 Nov 1, 2007
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/wrongfulconvi...

For those of you that are Turow and Grisham fans, and appalled with what you read in 'The Innocent Man', you might find the above site interesting. Interviews, news articles, Peterson is just a very small fish in a very large pond of mire....
Bill is No 9

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#15 Nov 1, 2007
On the list of the Ten Worst Prosecutors
http://bennettlawfirm.typepad.com/badprosecut...
Feel free to add your own contributions to the above site.
Hometown

Ada, OK

#16 Nov 20, 2007
Stephanie Zelenski wrote:
Wow, what a great website. When reading the book, I kept thinking that some of this made no sense. Now after reading the prosecutors rebuttal, I know that Grisham took liberal license with the truth. He should be ashamed for not researching his information. Some people think True Crime means the truth. FAR FROM IT!
>>>>>>> >>>>> Hey what do you know, we live in Ada, Ok. People here know what lies were told Bill Petersen and Chris are worthless. They don't care about people or justice. The Book J. Grisham wrote is very much the truth. Ada, is a hell hole,everyone knows that Pontotoc County is corrupt..
Hometown

Ada, OK

#17 Nov 20, 2007
Sooner Fan wrote:
I live in Pontotoc County, OK now, and I lived here when Debbie Carter was murdered. I remember the trial very well. Having lived here for 30 years I look at the situation in a little different light than people who aren't from here might.
From the Daily Oklahoman, Friday, Spetember 28, 2007: "The lawsuit claims the defendants (Grisham, et al) conspired to commit libel against the plaintiffs (Peterson, Rogers), generate publicity for self interest by placing them in a false light and intentionally inflicting emotional distress upon them."
It seems rather ironic to me that those are some of the same tactics Peterson used to prosecute two innocent men for the murder of Debra Sue Carter.
You know the most ironic thing about it all? Petersons start witness, Glen Gore, was the man who murdered Ms. Carter.
The civil complaint also alleges Grisham made public statements characterizing Peterson as "the No. 1 bad guy". Peterson IS the No. 1 bad guy for prosecuting two men for murder simply because he was under pressure to "wrap up this case".
Welcome to the justice system in small town Oklahoma. No one ever said it was fair or right, it's just a matter of that's how it is.
The biggest problem Bill Peterson has with Mr. Grisham's book is the fact that someone with some stroke was able to shed light on the truth of the matter in a VERY public way and Mr. Peterson has been shown to be look like the idiot he truly is.
I thank you. There are guys in prison right now because the system is corrupt. Even the idiot Detective at the city jail he is crooked as hell.
Hometown

Ada, OK

#18 Nov 20, 2007
Let me tell how caring Pontotoc is. There was snitch in jail that body slammed an older man,Ada's finest let him lie there all night until morning before getting him help. This mans hip was broke, done severe damage to this man. The jailers heard him yelling for help but ignored him. Now you tell me how up standing this is. They also set up a guy in the jail. The guy that they know that did the crime is the same guy that body slammed the poor guy. Nothing was done about this the snitch wasn't charged with anything
Andrew

Ottawa, Canada

#19 Dec 6, 2007
Peterson is suing Grisham? Oh my gosh, that Peterson is only looking out for himself. Why doesn't he just apologize and move on. It would all go away...
Exposing the truth

Longueuil, Canada

#20 Jan 2, 2008
Bill Peterson has the arrogance to claim he is "Exposing the truth" in his self-serving website.
Whether Grisham has taken liberties in his book is irrelevant, the only truth is that Peterson sent a completely innocent man on deathrow because he did not do his job properly. Whatever Perterson says or thinks, this is the indisputable truth. His arrogance and ego know no boundaries. Funny that, in one of his replies to Grisham, he should quote Anais Nin: "We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are". It takes a thief to catch one as Peterson still refuses to see things as they are. He is the DA and by association he is the law and truth in Oklahoma. Nowhere in his self-indulgent rambling, does he show an ounce of remorse for destroying two men's life. This would be an admission of error which Mr Peterson is incapable of doing.
The best defense is offense and by suing Grisham, this is exactly what Mr. Peterson is applying to nurture his bruised ego.

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