Day of Reckoning:A Century Later

A letter arrived in the mail just before Christmas.

The South Carolina Board of Paroles and Pardons will consider Mr. Duncan's case for a pardon on Wednesday, January 26, 2011.

It seems like a long time since I first wrote, "If you can choose your approach to a city always take her by sea." That opening line of Dead Weight opened a whole new journey for this life, one so different from the one which preceded, that the line sometimes seems like a dividing point between two people.

As many of you know, when I finished the book and did my first complete reading in edit, I ended feeling that Nealy's story should not end with Hal, Randy and Mojo sailing off into the distance. They went on. The fact was that Nealy did not, but was executed. His love never lived. His life with Ida ended. But he died in a state of Grace and forgiveness that should be an inspiration for us all.

Before the novel was released I sent a letter to then governor Mark Sanford requesting a posthumous pardon to, "correct an egregious error in jurisprudence and show that South Carolina is a state that not only cherishes history, but is capable of taking action to repair it."

As I've said before, for those who believe in the continuity of souls, should this pardon occur, somewhere, somehow Nealy will know and we will have made a difference, even after so long a time.

Already a feeling of both dread and anticipation begin. Though not my normal sentiment, I will try to be optimistic, try to rally a few people who might support a positive outcome. To imagine otherwise would leave me in a position of potential hypocrisy, living in a state, of shame.

To all friends: anyone who can lend support or suggestions, please be in touch.