Although he writes in “Twisted Justice: A Memoir of Conspiracy and Personal Politics” that he’s forgiven his supposed tormentors — the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted him, several reporters for The Daily Oklahoman, and those he alleges lied to convict him — the book is laced with anger.
“Over the years, I vacillated about writing it, and it was not till the Clinton impeachment that I decided to finish it,” the 81-year-old Hall told Oklahoma Gazette. “I wanted to be sure my descendants knew my side of the story and how I fought to prove my innocence.”
In his memoir, Hall, who was governor was from 1971 to 1975, recounts his life from a troubled childhood to his ambitions even as a teenager working toward the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion. He even shares his thoughts on the current political scene.
But what many will flip forward to is Hall’s comprehensive account of his indictment just days after leaving the governorship — he came in third in the Democratic primary — and his subsequent trial on federal racketeering and extortion charges. He spent 18 months of a three-year sentence at a minimum-security prison in Safford, Ariz., after exhausting his appeals.
Those who continue to believe him more than three decades later will be pleased he has written his encyclopedic, excruciatingly detailed version of the events that transpired.
Those who pursued him throughout those years will likely fume and throw the book across the room.
Hall’s account of the trial is fast-paced and full of intrigue, as good as a whodunit. He presents a blow-by-blow that is riveting and differently paced from the leisurely intro about his early life, achievements in high school and college, girls he dated and meeting his wife, and his county prosecutorial days in Tulsa.
People who read the 413-page “Twisted Justice” will get a closer look at a painful chapter in Oklahoma history from the former governor immersed in it.
Hall and his wife of 55 years, Jo Evans Hall, live in La Jolla, Calif., where he had a successful sales career after prison.
In 2007, he returned to Oklahoma for the first time since his release from prison, for a gathering of the state’s living governors at the Oklahoma History Center.
At that time, he said it was “like returning to heaven.”