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Getting Life: An Innocent Man's 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace Hardcover – July 8, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Morton poignantly recounts half a lifetime spent behind bars and underscores the glaring errors of our justice system.” (Oprah.com)

"A stunning memoir...A great deal has been written about the shortcomings of the American criminal justice system, but perhaps nothing more searing than Morton’s book, 'Getting Life.' It is a devastating and infuriating book, more astonishing than any legal thriller by John Grisham...Morton is able to deliver this aching and poignant look at the criminal justice system only because he didn’t get a death sentence. " (Nicholas Kristof The New York Times)

“Imagine spending twenty-five years in prison for a murder you did not commit. Imagine the murder victim was your wife, the love of your life. And imagine it all happened because prosecutors and law enforcement officials cooked up a case against you and hid evidence that would have identified the real killer. Michael Morton doesn't have to imagine, because he lived it. It's usually a cliché to say someone has been to hell and back, but in Morton's case that is exactly what happened, and his stunning and lyrical account of the journey will break your heart, then make you mad, and finally fill you with hope.” (David R. Dow, Founder of Texas Innocence Network and author of The Autobiography of an Execution and Things I've Learned from Dying: A Book About)

“An intimate, gripping portrayal of a grievous miscarriage of justice.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A true Texas story of how our system of justice can itself be criminal. Michael Morton’s powerful tale will take you with him into mourning, into prison, and finally, thankfully, back out into the light.” (Dan Rather)

"[An] eloquent, page-turning memoir." (Publishers Weekly)

“In straightforward, thoughtful prose, surprisingly devoid of bitterness, from his personal journals as well as with court transcripts, Morton details his love for his wife and son, his loss of both, and his years spent surviving in prison and trying to prove his innocence. A powerful memoir and a powerful indictment of the U.S. judicial system and its potential to imprison innocent men and women.” (Booklist)

"Even for readers who may feel practically jaded about stories of injustice in Texas – even those who followed this case closely in the press – could do themselves a favor by picking Michael Morton's new memoir…It is extremely well-written, insightful, infuriating, and, in places, quite funny." (The Austin Chronicle)

“A lively and intimate account of his rise from pariah to celebrated survivor after DNA evidence and determined lawyers proved his innocence after 25 years in prison…What makes Morton’s story so intriguing is the ease with which most people can put themselves in his place — the victim of a crime treated like a criminal — and wonder if they could cope, let alone survive.” (Austin American-Statesman)

“A jarring testament that truth really can be stranger than fiction…the writing is snappy and clean, with more wit than one might expect.” (San Antonio Express-News)

"A tale of grave injustice and, finally, great strength and courage and intelligence." (Hudson Valley News)

"Riveting." (Parade)

About the Author

Michael Morton was born in Texas, grew up in California, and moved back to Texas in high school. While living in Austin, Michael was convicted of murdering his wife—a crime he did not commit. He spent almost twenty-five years in prison before being exonerated through the efforts of the Innocence Project, pro bono lawyer John Raley, and advances in DNA technology. Michael is now remarried and lives on a lake in rural East Texas, relishing and appreciating what others may take for granted.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476756821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476756820
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Michael Morton was wrongly convicted of his wife's brutal murder & served 25 years of prison time before being exonerated with the hard work of The Innocence Project. An eye opening & remarkable story that is well written & will stick with you long after finishing the book. From meeting Michael's family, wife & young son to his arrest, trial and tales from incarceration to the freedom of an innocent man, prepare to be inspired by this tragic and ultimately encouraging debut. Thank you, Michael (& family), for sharing this incredible memoir.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a remarkable book written by a truly remarkable man. I couldn't book the book down and finished it in one day. Having worked with the wrongfully convicted I was familiar with Michael Morton's story but reading this story written in Morton's own words was spellbinding. Reading the book I felt like I was on a roller coaster of emotions starting out by being outraged at the police for their incompetence in not really investigating the case and not looking at the evidence that would clearly have shown Morton didn't murder his wife, and the prosecution for being more interested in obtaining a conviction and not giving a damn about seeking justice. Then my emotion went to sadness as Morton relieved the 25 years he spent in hell (prison) for a crime he never committed followed by happiness as Morton's conviction was finally overturned and he was released from prison to be reunited with his son who was only three years old when Morton went to prison. Those of you that are familiar with Morton's wrongful conviction will thoroughly enjoy this book and gain a different perspective of the case as written by the person who lived this tragedy and and came out of it being a true American Hero. Dick Blanchard, Advocates 4 Wrongfully Convicted
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Format: Hardcover
Having been through many criminal justice/ criminal forensic classes, I was very interested in learning more about the Innocence Project. My professors spoke of this program several times and the work that goes on to free these innocent people who were abused by the system. One of my professors wanted to have someone come and speak to the class, but it didn't work out. When I was offered the opportunity to review Michael Morton's story, I was eager to read it.

The way that this memoir is written is like Michael is sitting right there telling you his story and the ghastly struggle with a corrupt police and court system while mourning his wife.

As I read each chapter that focused on the the investigation of his wife, Chris, I was shocked and sickened to how he was treated and how the ineptness of this sheriff and deputy handled things. Chris' brother John was a better investigator and had the skills to find the proper evidence. He found three important pieces and kept them from being contaminated like someone from CSU should have done. I mean my goodness, the system in the 80's wasn't as technologically advanced as it is today, with DNA, but it was there, things would have been found in the system.

As his story progressed to his time in prison, you got to see how prison can change a person. It doesn't matter if your are guilty or innocent, it's a tough place to live in. Michael showed such strength though. He kept fighting, he never gave up, even when it seemed he hit rock bottom in those years, he still pushed forward.

When the Innocence Project got involved and help fight for Michael, the battle they faced from this county was infuriating, but their diligence in proving that he was innocent was amazing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of John Grisham and Dan Brown books, the kind of books you can't put down. This book is right up there with them.... and it's a true story. Michael's ability to show grace, compassion, forgiveness and even a sense of humor about his life's journey is nothing short of superhuman. Knowing him personally has been a real honor and privilege. Read this book. You'll love it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was not exactly what I expected. I thought I wanted to read a book that would detail the errors and flaws of the criminal justice system. While the book certainly brings some of that to light it was really more about the story of a man and a terrible and difficult road. A great surprise for me. The book was written with such an authentic voice that even when it was getting into pretty cliche and corny areas (like his first day out of prison) it feels genuine and purposeful. Prison and the criminal justice system are full of ambiguities and Mr. Morton doesn't shy away from that. He does not try to over correct for the range of feelings he has for his fellow prisoners. I really appreciated how he was able to grow incredibly from this experience but still resist the temptation to make declarations that are black and white.
What happened to Mr. Morton and his family is horrible but I don't think he would have found his gift as a writter any other way. Small consolation for him, I suppose, but a great gift for his readers. As a memoir it passes the most important test which is that I feel like I really know him.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like so many others could not put the book down but I had to so many times because I could not read with tears falling like rain from my eyes
I grew up in WilCo and I have known all my like that is was a corrupt county. one of my best friends was wrongly convicted as a teenager and sent to a Texas prison. I believe Ken Anderson should be in prison what he did was beyond wrong and he did not pay he went to jail for like 3 days he will pay....god will take care of that. shame on the late not so great Jim Boutwell this book was very well written and thank god finally had a happy ending God Bless Michael Morton I am glad he is finally happy again I admire him his Mom and Dad and family who stood by him
and thank you Michael Morton for what you have done to make sure this does not happen again you are a hero!
everyone in Wilco should read as Michael Morton said in the beginning if he had lived 1 mile south in Travis County things might have been a lot different and I also think if his in laws had more faith in him his precious son might have felt differently.
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