Winnefox Library System

Seventy times seven, a true story of murder and mercy, Alex Mar - hardcover

"A thought-provoking, masterfully told work of literary journalism about a shocking crime committed by a teenager-and its even more shocking aftermath. In 1985 in Gary, Indiana, a black teenaged girl kills an elderly white woman in a robbery gone wrong. The shock and awe of the case captivates the state, whose citizens cry out for vengeance. Soon after, Paula Cooper, the fifteen-year-old killer, is sentenced to death. Indiana's minimum age for the death penalty is, at that time, ten years old. In Seventy Times Seven, Alex Mar tells the unforgettable story of this single act of violence and its stunning aftermath. The image of a teenaged girl on death row will reverberate miles from Gary and link a varied cast of characters: a female public defender from the northeast, two enterprising Italian journalists, a Franciscan friar with the ear of the Pope, and, in an unlikely twist, the grandson of the victim, who dedicates himself to saving Paula's life. As a girl waits on death row, her fate sparks a debate that not only animates legal circles but also raises universal questions about the value of human life: What is the purpose of criminal justice, especially its harshest penalties? Is forgiveness an act of desperation or of profound bravery? What extreme degrees of empathy might humans be capable of, if given the chance? Seventy Times Seven opens with a murder and a death sentence, but it is above all about the will to live-to survive, to grow, to change-against the steepest odds. Tirelessly researched and told with intimacy and precision, it brings a haunting chapter in the history of our criminal justice system to astonishing life"--, Provided by publisher
Table of contents
The care of children -- South of the little calumet -- The making of a prosecutor -- Malice supplies the age -- The question of conscience -- The law covers all -- Nighttime in the crane -- Meeting the "animal" -- Love, Paula -- Enter the Italians -- The power of numbers -- The chapel -- Standards of decency -- A normal prisoner -- The caravan -- The journey -- Her sister's keeper --A pearl of great price -- A network of fine threads -- What they were, what they are, what they will become -- Anniversary -- Judgment -- Storytelling
Literary form
non fiction
Physical description
368 pages, illustrations, 25 cm

Library Locations

  • WCTS (Winnefox Cooperative Technical Services)

    121 West Park Avenue, Berlin, WI, 54923, US