Stay of Execution

Stay of Execution

by William P. Wood


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620454732
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/28/2014
Pages: 420
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

WILLIAM WOOD is the bestselling author of eight novels and one nonfiction book. As a deputy district attorney in California, he handled thousands of criminal cases and  put on over 50 jury trials. Two of Wood’s novels have been produced as motion pictures, including Rampage, filmed by Academy Award winning director William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist, Rules of Engagement), and Broken Trust, filmed by Jane Fonda Films with the screenplay written by Joan Didion and her husband John Gregory Dunne. Wood’s books have been translated into several foreign languages including French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Greek, and Polish. He lives in Sacramento, California.

Read an Excerpt

He dropped his hands from the lectern. Every seat was taken in the courtroom, a collage of faces and reactions. Several of his own deputies sat listening to the boss.

Keegan pointed at Carnes. “What you will hear is evidence from eyewitnesses and evidence you can take and touch in the jury room. This evidence shows a clear plan by Robert Cames to go to the home of Barry Rotich and murder him and his wife and their small nephew. He was a child.” Keegan paused. “Shot in the head. You may hear the defense pick at some small pieces of this evidence, or that witness, trying to throw sand in your eyes. But, you can pick at City Hall here and there and stand back”—Keegan moved a step from the jury—“and still see it’s City Hall. It’s solid and immovable.

“But never forget that small child, alone with his killer, facing his killer.” Keegan pointed at Carnes again and Goodoy got up, huffily.

“Your Honor, this is outrageous. Mr. Keegan is arguing. He’s not making a statement. He’s trying to save his case.”

“I’m showing the jury the evidence that convicts that man,” Keegan said sharply..

Judge Ambrosini put up his hands. “Wait. Not two of you at once. Mrs. Goodoy is correct. This is the time for opening statements. You argue at the end of the trial.”

“Your Honor,” Keegan said roughly, “I know the order of a trial. I don’t need any sarcasm from you.”

It had come out faster than Keegan could stop it. He didn’t regret the retort. He thought the jurors, however much they looked up to a judge, would resent the judge playing favorites.

He turned to the jury without waiting for the judge to rule on Goodoy’s objection. There was a rustling, skittish sound of feet on the hard floor as the spectators shifted around in their seats.

“Mr. Keegan, don’t turn your back on me,” Ambrosini said.

“I thought you were finished,” Keegan said.

“I am not finished. We have a difficult trial ahead of us. I am not going to start it by tolerating displays of disrespect or anger in this courtroom.”

“I can’t do this trial without being angry,” Keegan said.

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