Brookhaven College students, faculty and staff chose Picking Cotton, by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton and Erin Torneo as 2010's Open Book Project selection. Based on a true story, Jennifer Thompson recounts the night she was raped in her home. It was summer of 1984, and after positively identifying Ronald Cotton as her attacker, Cotton is put behind bars. Eleven years after serving for the crime, he is allowed to submit his DNA to prove his innocence, which he successfully does. Cotton served more than a decade in prison for a crime he did not commit, but somehow an unexpected friendship forms between the two after everything is said and done.
Events surrounding the book included a presentation by Craig Watson, Dallas County district attorney, and by co-author Jennifer Thomspon-Connino. Dozens of professors used the book in their course materials and hundreds of students and employees packed the college's Performance Hall to hear these speakers.