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Killing Time: An 18-Year Odyssey from Death Row to Freedom Hardcover – May 18, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This book tells a fascinating and chilling story of one of the most notorious wrongful convictions of modern time. It should be read by anyone who cares about this issue.” (Barry Scheck, co-founder and co-director of The Innocence Project)

“A revealing, important book that sheds light on how an innocent man can be sent to death row.” (Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and The Death of Innocents)

About the Author

John Hollway is an attorney and writer who has worked both in a federal prosecutor’s office and as a defense attorney in state and federal courts.

Ronald M. Gauthier is a library branch manager in Gwinnett Country, Georgia, and once served as an adult literacy instructor for the Louisiana prison system and a social services counselor. He is the author of Hard Time on the Bayou, a prison novel based on his experiences working in corrections.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (May 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602399743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602399747
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,036,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Levin on May 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm a big fan of legal non-fiction, and this is a must read. John Thompson's story is compellingly told in this book and it's a great tale of someone (actually, several someones) who, amazingly, "keeps the faith" against all odds. The authors do an amazing job of bringing the characters to life, while staying true to the actual historical account. For anyone who is interested in an insider's view of the criminal justice system, and all of its faults and strengths, Killing Time presents a thoroughly researched story of character, process and perseverence. It would be a great story if invented by the author, but is even more remarkable considering that this is a non-fiction account.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an incredible story of an initial injustice which keeps being ignored, and the real life heroes who don't give up on fighting to save the life of an innocent man. It is well written and holds the readers attention from the first chapter until the end. Like many excellent books I read I didn't want it to end, and yet I desperately wanted to know how it would end, it held me until the last sentence! The difference here is that this is not a made up story, this really happened to a man, and that makes it so worthy of sharing. People need to know what so many of our citizens are up against when they have a brush with the law, the racial profiling, the rich client versus the underprivledged accused, the witholding or tampering with information and evidence, it all happens everyday. This book bravely illustrates the details of how courts get away with convicting innocent people. In this case it was literally a case of life and death that this court was playing with. It is my hope that this book will end up on the required reading lists in our schools so that the next generation is exposed to what can and does happen in our country, then maybe cases like this will become fiction!
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Format: Hardcover
If you go to any prison, you will find convicts who will bend your ear about how they are there unfairly, how they are innocent, how they were framed, how they were unfairly prosecuted, and so on. The great difficulty is that some of these prisoners are telling the truth, and some are even on death row. We have to keep the justice system going, and we have to try to make it fair, but it is at least as imperfect as any other human endeavor, and will make mistakes. Some of those mistakes are going to result in executions, and the executed prisoner will no longer be around to make any protest. That was almost the case for John Thompson, who was arrested in 1984, charged with murder, and wound up on death row in the notorious Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana. He spent nearly twenty years in prison, some of it thinking he was only days away from the electric chair which Louisiana uses aggressively. It was only by chance, and by the good will and generosity of expensive lawyers working pro bono, that he is still alive and free. His story is told in _Killing Time: An 18-Year Odyssey from Death Row to Freedom_ (Skyhorse Publishing) by John Hollway and Ronald M. Gauthier. The former is a lawyer, the later a mystery writer, and the combination is a winning one. They have told the story at length and in detail, in a basic chronological fashion, using court transcripts and interviews. The result is a fascinating picture of justice gone awry, and a condemnation of how the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office, led by Harry Connick Sr. (father of the more famous musician Harry Connick Jr.) willfully withheld evidence and almost killed an innocent man.

On 6 December 1984 someone killed Ray Liuzza on a New Orleans street.
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Format: Hardcover
I was two hours late into the office today because I couldn't stop reading this book - it may be the most compelling true crime story you've never heard. This carefully-researched account of a wrongfully-accused man's 18-year struggle within the legal system is both harrowing and heartening. The authors succeed in re-creating the heroism of two relentless defense attorneys seeking freedom for their client, while at the same time offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the complexity of the appeals process. I wouldn't be surprised to see this book made into a movie!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You will not be able to put this book down- all the more extraordinary because it's a true story, and you know the outcome before you even start the book. The story is incredible from many perspectives- first and most importantly, from the perspective of John Thompson, the man who spent 18 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. His will to overcome is remarkable, but so too is the way that John was able to turn what happened to him into an opportunity to help others through the "Resurrection After Exoneration" organization. It's also an incredible story from the perspective of corruption in the DA's office in New Orleans, and from the perspective of the skilled, dedicated lawyers who saw his case through so many appeals and seemingly dead-ends over more than 10 years to ultimately see his conviction overturned. The authors grab you from the very beginning in their engaging telling of this almost-unbeleivable story. It felt like a great Elmore Leonard, but this one is all true. You should definitely read this book. Be prepared, though, to be very disturbed that these events ever happened in the first place.
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