Deathwork Author:James McLendon It is a chill Monday morning at Raiford State Prison. For twelve years there have been no legal executions in the United States. Now, in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision upholding capital punishment, Flordia has returned the death penalty to its books. And today four murderers--three men, one of them black, and a woman--are going... more » to be electrocuded.
Based on an actual case of multiple execution in Florida, Deathwork is the first book to anatomize the death penalty as a physical and emotional reality, not as a moral question or a social issue. Although the specific incidents and characters in the novel are fictionalized, every detail in this mesmerizing minute by minute account of the stages of legal death is rooted in fact.
In Deathwork, Jamems McLendon compresses into a four-hour time span the histories of the diverse people whose lives intersect for these fatal moments. There are the prison officials, who carry out their deathwork with military precision; the electrician, the chief corrections officer and his Death Strap squad, the warden. There are the reporters, who've converged on Raiford to observe, analyze, and, in some cases, sensationalize a "media event." There is the governor, making political hay by talking a hard line on crime. There is the exectutioner. And there are the four who will die in the electric chair.
As Deathwork moves toward its literally heart-stopping conclusion with a sense of staggering immediacy and shattering impact, the reader joins the assembled witnesses for the final death watch.« less