Judge dismisses Grisham lawsuit

<p>A federal judge has dismissed a libel lawsuit filed against John Grisham over his book <em>The Innocent Man</em>, an account of the wrongful conviction of two men in a 1982 murder, reports the Associated Press.</p><p>The lawsuit was filed last year by former Pontotoc County District Attorney Bill Peterson, former Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation investigator Gary Rogers and Melvin Hett, a state criminalist. All three helped win the original convictions in the murder of cocktail waitress Debbie Sue Carter.</p><p>The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants conspired to commit libel, generate publicity for themselves by placing the plaintiffs in a false light and intentionally inflicted emotional distress.</p><p>The lawsuit named Grisham his publishing company and the authors and publishing companies of two other books critical of Peterson and his prosecution of murder cases. Also named as a defendant was Barry Scheck, founder of the New York-based Innocence Project and an attorney for one of the men falsely accused in the murder.</p><p>But US District Judge Ronald White rejected the claims in his ruling Wednesday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.</p>