Monday, January 31, 2011

Fun Monday - Novel Idea

Ari has one more topic for us before she retires from Fun Monday hosting duties...
Topic for Jan. 31: Your first novel is published to wide acclaim. What's the title of your novel and what is it about?

I hesitate to participate this week. Not because I don't have an idea for a book but because the premise of this book goes against my religion. I also think a few people may have no idea that I have such a dark and vengeful side.

A little background -in the 1960s, my uncle was killed in a robbery at the bar where he was working. After much diligence and hard work, (a lake was drained to find the murder weapon), two persons were arrested, tried by a jury(ies) of their peers, convicted and sentenced to death.

In 1972, the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstititutional. 107 death row inmates were taken off death row and re-sentenced. Not all of them were sentenced to life without parole and some, after serving time, were paroled.

In 1977, the California State legislature re-enacted the death penalty with new sentencing guidelines. Those persons who had been re-sentenced could not, under the cover of double jeopardy, be put back on death row.

There are currently 674 inmates on California's death row. Since 1978, 11 inmates have been executed. 12 inmates have committed suicide. 30 have died of natural causes, including old age.

My Church does not believe in capital punishment. I do. They deem it murder. I do not. I pray about this.

Now - my book, which is titled, with thanks to one of my deputies, "Just Desserts".

My protagonist is a middle aged woman. Let's call her Lucretia. She is an average person; high school graduate, a little college, widowed, grown children, never in trouble with the law. She finds out that she is terminally ill.

Needing both a paycheck and benefits, she lies about her recent diagnosis and goes to work for the State. She gets hired as a cook for the prison system. Making no effort to hide her work, she poisons every inmate on death row.

She is arrested, tried by a jury of her peers, convicted, and sentenced to death row. Her diagnosis turns out to have been a false positive and she dies, on death row, of old age, with all of her medical care having been paid for by the State.

No, go on over to Ari's and read some more uplifting, humorous, and inspirational posts!


Sayre said...

Oooo... chills. I'm sorry about your uncle. I have the capital punishment dilemma too - or I did. Never believed in it because people are fallible and sometimes see what they want to see or are persuaded to see.. Then came Ted Bundy. He ravaged my town. Came close to being caught because of a bad parking choice the night of Chi Omega - he blocked my ex husband in at work. He went upstairs to call the police to have the car towed, but when he got back, the car was gone. He was finally caught after killing a little girl in Lake City. I worked on the coverage of his trial and found out the meaning of souless eyes. Some people are too dangerous to be left alive. Ted was one. In his case, I think capital punishment was absolutely the right choice. And I'm sorry it took so long.

Molly said...

Although I am opposed to capital punishment, I appreciate your story. Your personal experience with the tragic death of your uncle gives you a perspective that I do not have. Perhaps, writing about the incident in this way is just the way to settle a score. Plus, you have a great title for a story involving a vengeful cook.

Faye said...

As with so many social justice issues right and wrong are very individual choices based on personal experience. I tend to see shades of grey, but my life hasn't been violated by a crime heinous enough to merit capital punishment.

On a lighter note--love your title and plot. It's delicious!

Kim said...

Absolutely fascinating! I love the twists and turns. Let us know when it comes out.
(I do believe in capital punishment--hoping there aren't innocent people wrongly convicted.)

bichonpawz said...

I am so very sorry to hear about your uncle.

ari_1965 said...

It's funny how health benefits have become something worth killing for!

Richard said...

A Texan for the death penalty-- go figure

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