The Injustice System

It Could Happen to You

Non-Fiction - Biography
225 Pages
Reviewed on 01/09/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Before I even read The Injustice System by Ronarose Train, my perceptions of the fairness of the judicial system weren’t positive. Oh, how this biography supported my misgivings and how unfortunate for Sam Gray, falsely accused of major financial crimes, that he believed justice would prevail. He truly believed he and his wife would be exonerated. After all, they were innocent! When the government froze the Grays’ bank accounts and other assets, they were forced to settle for using a public defender. Because Sam believed so ardently in the justice system, and lying via a plea bargain was against his moral code, he refused to accept said plea bargain. That decision, combined with the disinterest of that public defender, landed both Sam and Marilyn in jail. In Sam’s case, incarceration lasted 10 years!

What I learned from Sam’s biographical account was eye-opening: heaven help anyone who is unfairly implicated in a crime! But what impressed me most about Sam’s time in prison was how he turned it into a positive, not just for himself but for other inmates. This is the best takeaway from reading The Injustice System. Before this book, my perceptions of jail were limited to TV shows and movies…for the most part, pretty horrifying. But, just as Sam did, I met some surprisingly good people inside the various prisons where he served time. Sam's stories about those people are heartwarming and through Sam’s conversational, sometimes even humorous accounts, Ronarose Train has made the chilling aspects of incarceration more bearable by focusing on human kindness and offering hope. Treat yourself to a very different and important true story. The Injustice System is a must-read!

Lorraine Cobcroft

The Injustice System by Ronarose Train is an emotive read. It is not the genre I typically like to read, but it was a page-turner. I couldn’t put it down. I traveled Sam’s journey with him, crying, railing at the wrongs, beating my chest, and weeping with gratitude when love or a kind deed restored his faith and sustained him through yet another trauma. Sam's story might disillusion and depress. It might destroy your faith in a system most of us believed in and trusted to keep us safe and to punish those who do wrong. But the system has let many down. It has convicted the innocent and let the guilty walk free. Too often, the depth of one’s pockets determines outcomes. And that’s how it was for Sam and Marilyn Gray. Deprived of the wealth they had accrued over a lifetime of work, Sam and his wife had to rely on an inept and disinterested Public Defender. When Sam took over, after an intense study of law, his plea fell on deaf ears for no better reason than that he had incorrectly formatted his court submission! It seems impossible, but Ronarose Train assures us Sam’s story is true, and it reads like truth.

Though describing it as a biography, Ronarose Train wrote The Injustice System in the first person. Sam Gray tells his story with admirable objectivity and a generous dose of good humor. But readers can’t help but feel his pain. Nor can one help but admire the manner in which Sam devotes his energy to helping others and seeing a horrific experience as a chance to learn and grow. His obvious deep love for his family, and the unwavering support of family and friends, sustains him. But he also finds strength and support from unexpected places. Prisoners—some convicted of violent crimes and many recidivists—befriend and care for him.

Reading Ronarose Train’s The Injustice System is likely to stir anger. One has to hope it is, at some point, read by people with power to drive reform. It’s a story that cried out to be told, if not to drive improvements in a flawed system, then at the very least to inspire and strengthen other victims of the grave injustices so many suffer. If you care about justice, or if you naively believe—as Sam Gray did—that truth will always prevail, this is a ‘must read’. It will dismay. It will disappoint. But it might just save you, one day, from the fate that Sam suffered for being too trusting.

Jennifer Ibiam

Sam and Marilyn Gray were a Jewish couple accomplished in marriage, education, society, business, and parenthood. The Grays operated a string of casino ships that brought in huge profits. They were looking forward to a blissful retirement to keep enjoying their marriage of over four decades. Everything changed when the FBI showed up and accused them of helping their banker, Steven Miller, to launder money. Steven embezzled money and indicted the couple as willing accomplices to get a reduced sentence. As a man who trod the straight and narrow all his life, Sam trusted the justice system to vindicate them. However, he was in for a shocker that thwarted the course of their lives. Will the truth prevail? Find out in The Injustice System by Ronarose Train.

The Injustice System by Ronarose Train is a heartbreaking tale that would evoke anger from a saint. This biography documented an experience that delved into the deep and shook the very foundations of the couple’s existence. Life tested everything from their integrity to strength, resilience, patience, faith, family support, and love for each other. Questions kept flooding my head as I read this book. Is there justice in this world for decent people? Should people compromise their integrity and beliefs to circumvent the system? How many innocent people have languished in jail because of subpar investigations, terrible lawyers, inconsiderate juries, or an entirely faulty justice system? This book broke me from Dillon to Atlanta and Marianna to Alderson. However, a take-home for me was Sam’s ability and zeal to make an impact everywhere he found himself, even with a heart condition. Thank you for sharing this emotional story, Ronarose.