WWW Wednesdays—August 24, 2011

WWW WednesdaysTo play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading [amazon_link id=”0451197399″ target=”_blank” ]The Ballad of Frankie Silver[/amazon_link] by Sharyn McCrumb, and it’s engaging in a different way from [amazon_link id=”0451202503″ target=”_blank” ]The Songcatcher[/amazon_link], which I recently finished (review). A few choice quotes:

It is difficult to explain the law to laymen. They seem to think that justice has to do with right and wrong, with absolutes. Perhaps when we stand before our Maker on Judgment Day, His court will be a just one, but those trials held on earth are not about what happened, but about what can be proven to have happened, or what twelve citizens can be persuaded to believe happened. Sometimes I think the patron saint of lawyers ought to be Pontius Pilate, for surely he said it best: What is truth? (227)

Sounds to me like an excellent explanation of law, or at least courtroom trials. Here is another I liked:

Colonel Newland eyed me sadly. “You are dealing in justice, Mr. Gaither,” he said. “I am dealing in mercy. I hope some day—before it is too late—you find that Mrs. Silver is deserving of both.” (230)

Frankie Silver, if you didn’t know, may or may not be the first woman executed for murder in North Carolina (Wikipedia cites a news article describing an earlier case, but everyone else says she was the first—plus, I’m not sure about the source as it isn’t on a news site). She supposedly killed her husband with an ax and dismembered him. Keeping in mind that I am not finished with this book, and some new twist may change my mind, I have two theories about Frankie Silver:

  1. She did the crime because, as we say in the South, her husband needed killing. A translation for non-Southerners: He was doing something like beating her or hurting their baby or even cheating on her. Now, I don’t mean to say that people deserve to be killed. I only say that when they commit wrongdoing, and they are subsequently murdered, the “He needed killing” defense has been considered viable in some corners of the South.
  2. She didn’t do it, but she knew who did, and she was protecting them for some reason.

In either case, I think her trial, if it happened the way it is described in the book, was a gross miscarriage of justice. Even if she did the crime, some procedural mishaps should have resulted in a mistrial or she should at least have been granted an appeal.

I am not sure what I’ll read after this book. Everyone at work wants me to read [amazon_link id=”0553386794″ target=”_blank” ]A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One[/amazon_link], and I want to, but it’s so long! I want to be done with any books I pick up before the R.I.P. Challenge, and there is no way I can finish that book in a week. I am going to win that challenge this year. I mean it!