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Netflix Keeps The True Crime Coming With New John Grisham-Inspired Series

Based on the book of the same name, "The Innocent Man" will investigate the wrongful murder conviction of Ronald Keith Williamson in six parts.

By Eric Shorey

Fresh off the heels of the successful second installment of “Making a Murderer,” Netflix — seemingly committed to delivering consecutive seasons of true crime content — has already turned the page and unveiled its latest addition to the consistently-surging genre.

The company announced Monday that it has ordered a six-part docuseries based on “The Innocent Man,” John Grisham’s critically-acclaimed novel from 2006, Deadline reports, adding that Grisham himself is involved in the series’ creation.   

Grisham's book, which tells the complicated story of a murder in Oklahoma and its aftermath, focuses on a case that occurred in 1982 in the town of Ada.

In 1988, Ronald Keith Williamson, a former minor league baseball player, was wrongly convicted of the rape and murder of Debra Sue Carter and sentenced to death, according to the New York Times. Williamson was eventually exonerated thanks to the efforts of The Innocence Project, which conducted DNA tests that proved he was not guilty of the murder.

The upcoming series, directed by Clay Tweel, will explore the circumstances surrounding Williamson's imprisonment and hard-won freedom, featuring both new and archival footage.

“As a filmmaker, I often find that the best stories are the ones we tell ourselves,” Tweel said, as quoted by The Wrap. “But what surprised me was the extent to which that idea also permeates the criminal justice system. By re-examining these old cases, I hope that viewers will identify the biases involved, even their own."

Grisham also expressed his enthusiasm for the project.

"The documentary series…is gripping, compelling, and ultimately just as heartbreaking as the book," Grisham said, according to The Wrap. "Though I know the story well, I can’t wait to watch it again.”

"The Innocent Man" is set to debut in full — as per Netflix tradition — on December 14. 

[Photo Credit: John Grisham by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]

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