May God Have Mercy by John C. Tucker
A True Story of Crime and Punishment

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Synopsis

In some states by law, in others by tradition, judges imposing a sentence of death complete the grim ritual with the words "May God have mercy on your soul." In 1982, in Grundy, Virginia, a young miner named Roger Coleman was sentenced to death for the murder of his sister-in-law. Ten years later, Coleman's case had become an international cause celebre as a result of the extraordinary efforts of Kitty Behan, a brilliant and dedicated young lawyer who devoted two years of her life to gathering evidence of Coleman's innocence. Despite the mounting demands of the public, the media, and world religious leaders that Coleman's conviction be reexamined, the courts refused to consider new evidence because of a lawyer's mistake: years earlier, an appointed lawyer had filed a document one day late. The governor of Virginia offered Coleman only one chance for a reprieve - the opportunity to take a lie-detector test on the morning of his scheduled execution. "May God Have Mercy" explores the legal and moral complexities of this dramatic case with devastating impact.
 

About John C. Tucker

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Tucker practiced law for many years in Chicago, where he was a leading criminal defense attorney. He is currently following a second career as a writer.
 
Published January 1, 1980 by W. W. Norton & Company. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for May God Have Mercy

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Set in the mining country of Buchanan County, Va., a fast-paced synopsis of a case that received national attention: the conviction and execution of Roger Coleman for the 1981 murder of his sister-in-law, Wanda McCoy.

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Publishers Weekly

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With executions on the rise nationwide, the story of Ronald Keith Coleman, as told by attorney-turned-author Tucker, might serve as a cautionary tale to an increasingly vindictive public. In 1982, Col

Sep 01 1997 | Read Full Review of May God Have Mercy: A True St...

Publishers Weekly

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With executions on the rise nationwide, the story of Ronald Keith Coleman, as told by attorney-turned-author Tucker, might serve as a cautionary tale to an increasingly vindictive public. In 1982, Col

Sep 01 1997 | Read Full Review of May God Have Mercy: A True St...

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