Capital punishment is the morally complex topic of this legal thriller by bestselling author Richard North Patterson. Fifteen years ago, Rennell Price and his drug-dealer brother Payton were convicted of raping and murdering a nine-year-old girl. In 59 days, he will face the final penalty for that crime and die by legal injection. Lawyer Terri Paget believes that Rennell is both retarded and innocent, but proving these claims still may not save her client. Will she be able to successfully negotiate the labyrinthine legal processes required in time to stop the execution?
When the body of nine-year old Thuy Sen is found in the San Francisco Bay, the police quickly charge Rennell and Payton Price with her grisly murder. A twelve-person jury, abetted by an incompetent defense lawyer, is nearly as quick to find the brothers guilty, and to sentence them both to die for their crimes.
Fifteen years later, overworked pro bono laywer Teresa Peralta Paget, her husband Chris, and stepson Carlo, a recent Harvard law graduate, become convinced not only that Rennell didn't receive a fair trial but that he may well be innocent. Racing against the clock and facing enormous legal obstacles, Teresa, Chris, and Carlo desperately try to stay Rennell's execution, taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court, and to an enormously moving and powerful conclusion.
"[A] superior example of contemporary muckracking." Kirkus (11/15/2004)
"[C]ompelling....[R]eaders will come away with a greater understanding of a controversial issue." Publishers Weekly (12/20/2004)
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