Picking Cotton: Ronald Cotton's and Jennifer Thompson Case

This essay sample essay on Picking Cotton offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion are provided below.

Let The Truth Finally Be Revealed Jennifer Thompson was a straight-A student at Elon University in Burlington, North Carolina. She had her life all planned out: maintain straight A’s, graduate with a 4. 0 GPA, and marry her boyfriend, Paul. Jennifer said frightened “Who is that? Whose there? ” I said, “Allowing myself to think it must be Paul, or someone playing a stupid joke” (12).

Then suddenly she looked and saw a stranger in her room. Before she knew it, she was getting raped. During her attack, she made sure she paid attention to her attacker’s features and his voice.

The rapist began to hiss “Shut up or I’ll cut you! ” he hissed, “while clamping a glove hand down her mouth” (12). He proceeded to brutally rape her, with a knife at her throat.

“I’m afraid of knives. ” I told him, “l can’t relax until you put it down. Can you put it outside? On my car? ” (15-16). Jennifer stayed as calm as possible, trying to remember as many details about her assailant as she could, until she managed to escape. She tried staying calm and having conversations with this man and stayed calm the entire time.

When she had the chance and knew he wasn’t there she began to run and was shouting for help. As she ran screaming to the top of her lungs a nice family opened the door and let her in.

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They took care of Jennifer and took her to the hospital. Through an inept summary and analysis of Picking Cotton, readers will be able to understand key points throughout the book, and determine why or why not they should pursue reading the book. After Jennifer got out of the hospital police were all over her case they detectives wanted to find out who would do such a thing?

Ronald Cotton Case Study

So the police would have to take Jennifer down to the police department where she would meet with Detective’s. As she got to the police department Jennifer went down to meet a sketch artist. Once the sketch was done, the lead detective on her case was Detective Gauldin. Detective Gauldin decided that it would be best if the department released the sketch on the local news. Jenifer was told, “Detective Gauldin is going to lay down six photos of black male for you to look at. The suspect may or may not be included in these” (32).

As Jennifer looked at a few sketches she narrowed it down to two sketches. After she got to see a real picture of these men and she happened to pick the sketch of a man amed Ronald Cotton. Ronald had been in trouble with the police before. Jennifer began to say, “When I looked at one photo, the image of the man performing oral sex on me came back so violently I thought I would be sick right there. The memory was to sharp and clear. ” “This is the one”, while she was pointing to the picture “l think this is the guy. “Its him,” said Jennifer “you’re sure? ” asked Detective Gauldin “positive” said Jennifer (33). As Jennifer picked out the man who she thought raped her police began to look for evidence. The police department had identified, she icked out the one she recognized the best: Ronald Cotton, who already had a less- than-desirable record with the police. When Cotton was told of the charges, he went to the police station to clear his name, but instead he was arrested. Jennifer had to come face to face with a couple of men selected by the police.

When Jennifer walked in all she could think about was what would he do to her if he saw her pick him. Jennifer began to say in fear “If he was here, now he knew what I looked like in broad Jenifer picked out Ronald Cotton Just like the sketch and picture. The detectives began to ask her ” ‘Did he beat you? hey asked ‘cut you? When I shook my head up, they shrugged. ‘They were sorry it happened to me, but it Just didn’t seem like that big a deal, because it was Just sex’ ” (39).

Ronald Cotton was found guilty on January 18th, 1985 and sentenced to life in prison plus fifty years, on charges of first-degree breaking and entering and first-degree sexual assault. On top of all the things going on in her life Jennifer’s love life wasn’t going to well either. Jennifer and Paul started to drastically separate slowly. They got into a huge argument over the rape. Their relationship changed so much after Jennifer had been raped. Paul wanted her to move back into town and Jennifer couldn’t she never wanted to go back there. Paul wasn’t very understanding about it.

Jennifer stated, “The relationship ended then, although we would continue to pretend it hadn’t for several more months” (40). DNA testing and eyewitness results can really show a lot and prove that someone really is innocent. Ronald did not really do this crime, and he was living in prison for a crime he did not commit. Keeping faith in God, Cotton underwent an eleven-year ordeal, being transferred from prison to prison. In prison he met a fellow inmate, incarcerated for the same crimes. His name was Bobby Poole, and he even resembled Cotton in appearance.

Cotton requested that he and Poole go back to court to appeal his innocence. Jennifer, along with another woman who was raped the same night, again chose Cotton as her rapist and he was sentenced to two life sentences plus fifty-four years. As Cotton languished in prison, Jennifer remained tormented by the image of her attacker. She was eventually able to settle down and marry a man named Vinny. But right as she began to get comfortable, she was informed Cotton had requested a DNA test. Still confident that he was guilty, she agreed.

A few weeks later Cotton was freed, after eleven long years in prison; it was Bobby Poole’s DNA found in her rape kit, and Poole had confessed to the crimes. Jennifer was devastated, but she decided she wanted to meet Cotton. Ronald Cotton agreed to meet Jennifer at a church and, miraculously, forgave her. Since then, theyVe formed an unlikely friendship and have started travelling across the country advocating actual innocence investigation, hoping to prevent the Justice system from repeating the mistakes of their case. This rape truly impacted Jennifer’s life in many ways; such s she couldn’t control her actions.

For instance, she wasn’t satisfied with herself and made poor decisions like drinking and doing drugs. Jennifer says, “There wasn’t much I could control about the way my life was going, but I could control whether I let my rage get the best of me” (118). Jennifer tried to change her life around and she started to attend church. At the end when Ronald got released, they met at a church where Jennifer apologized to him. Jennifer’s father really got onto her about praying. Jennifer says “My father and Diane were always on me to go to take up prayer” (119).

I would truly recommend this book to anyone because the story behind this book is so impacting and touching. You get to truly hear a story that you probably will never hear anywhere else. This book is very fascinating and leaves you speechless; by the time you’re done with it all you can do is wonder and think wow I didn’t know that could happen. You realize how anyone can make a mistake and how the eyewitness tests work and showed how many prisoners today could also not have committed a police, Judges and detectives that he was an innocent man through DNA and eyewitness testing.

I don’t think there has ever been a time that someone was able to get away and show they were innocent after being convicted and accused with what Ronald was accused of. The DNA testing showed that Ronald was innocent and the Bobby Poole did this. It is so interesting to see how something like this can occur and how identical these two men look. Jennifer was so sure that Ronald had raped her. She told the police and detectives that she was one hundred percent sure. It is truly incredible to see how our memory can even play games with us. Humans aren’t perfect and we think we know what we saw but our minds can play games.

When Jennifer was told that she was wrong and that she picked the wrong person was probably very hard for her. I can’t even imagine what went through her head when she heard Cotton didn’t do the crime she thought he committed. When reading this, you Just want to keep reading to find out what happens to Ronald it is very interesting and catching. When finished with the book you think to yourself, “my goodness it makes me so happy he is finally shown innocent”. Then it warms your heart to know that Ronald and Jennifer become really close friends after all this that happened.

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Picking Cotton: Ronald Cotton's and Jennifer Thompson Case. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from http://paperap.com/picking-cotton-ronald-cottons-and-jennifer-thompson-case/

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