Every day for 11 years, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino prayed for her rapist to die. But the man she identified to police wasn’t her attacker. “That was unbearable,” Thompson-Cannino tells NPR. “Discovering the truth filled me with overwhelming guilt and shame for mistakenly putting an innocent man in prison.” But that man, Ronald Cotton, has forgiven her—and has become her friend.
“I had gone to prison an angry man,” Cotton recalls. “But that kind of emotion was keeping me a prisoner in my own private jail. I had to let the hate go, and learn to live and forgive." He and Thompson-Cannino have recorded their experience in a joint memoir, Picking Cotton, Mother Jones reports. "Together we were able to help each other heal through a shared experience," Cotton said.