May God Have Mercy

A True Story of Crime and Punishment

John C. Tucker (Author)


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.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • January 1980
  • ISBN 978-0-393-33473-9
  • 5 × 8 in
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

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