Choosing Mercy: A Mother of Murder Victims Pleads to End the Death Penalty

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9781570753589: Choosing Mercy: A Mother of Murder Victims Pleads to End the Death Penalty
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Antoinette Bosco's heart was crushed when Shadow Clark murdered her son John and his wife Nancy. In time her grief transformed into forgiveness. Toni felt that to want one more unnatural death would be wrong. "I could say that the 18-year -old who ended the lives of my children with an 8mm semiautomatic must be punished for life but I could not say, kill this killer". Toni chose mercy over vengeance, and again her life changed forever.

Today she is widely known as an opponent of capital punishment in this the only modern Western nation that retains executions. In telling her dramatic journey she presents compelling arguments why the death penalty does not work and is morally wrong. She also shares unforgettable true stories form parents such as Dominick Dunne who suffered through similar experiences but also learned to choose love over fear.

Choosing Mercy is timely, gut-honest, and inspiring. It may not change some people's minds but it will begin to change their hearts.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Journalist Bosco (The Pummeled Heart) had her world overturned in 1993 when her son and daughter-in-law were shot to death while they slept. Their murder made no sense, even after the police arrested the 18-year-old son of the home's previous owner. Although the killer did not receive the death penalty (and despite his evident lack of remorse), Bosco, a devout Catholic who had always opposed the death penalty, was troubled by the resolutely pro-capital-punishment stance espoused by many violent-crime survivors and their advocates. In this spiritually charged meditation on violence and punishment, she addresses difficult issues, ranging from a deeply flawed corrections system to whether the worst offenders possess the capacity to atone and be redeemed. Bosco recounts how she became involved in the debate as a journalist and a mother for her own healing unsentimentally describing how her resolute prolife stand was sorely tested by her anger and grief and meeting others in her unfortunate position, including bestselling author Dominick Dunne, who forgave his daughter's murderer. Her advocacy increased when she went public as a writer and speaker willing to uphold the seditious view that "unnatural death is an evil, no matter whose hand stops the breath," and she includes here an appendix of books and organizations that argue against the death penalty. Bosco writes in a clear yet sometimes prolix fashion; much of her contemplation takes the form of wrestling with Christian biblical mandates, which may keep readers of other faiths at a distance. Even so, this is a brave, sustained and timely argument against capital punishment from one who has paid a heavy toll.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Sometimes the most eloquent opponents of the death penalty are those who have the most obvious personal reasons to demand this ultimate form of retribution: people who have lost loved ones in brutal, senseless crimes. In 1993 Bosco's son and his wife were shot and killed by an 18-year-old Montana neighbor. Bosco, a journalist, had long opposed the death penalty, partly because of family history, but the Montana murders made the issue even more central for her. Like some other family members of crime victims, Bosco found that forgiveness was an essential element of healing. She got involved in victim support groups and then prison visitation, becoming an activist, not simply for elimination of the death penalty, but also for radical reform of the prison system. Choosing Mercy is a highly personal story, describing Bosco's experiences and those of other parents and relatives Bosco has encountered in campaigning for a criminal justice system that would honor victims by blending justice with mercy. A valuable supplement to more academic studies of this issue. Mary Carroll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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