Richard North Patterson. Conviction (2005) 480 pp.
Death row attorney Terri Paget is working the fifteen-year-old capital crime conviction of Rennell Price, who the State of California will execute with a lethal injection in fifty-nine days. Terri realizes that the retarded surly black man is not a good client and her chances of saving him from the death penalty are slim. Terri, with the help of her spouse and son, looks back over time and quickly realizes that Rennell never had much of a defense. The corpse of nine-year-old Thuy Sen was found in San Francisco Bay and the medical examiner immediately concluded that the cause of her death was choking on semen. Broadcast news ran the story with the picture of the young girl as its feature. This led to a neighbor claiming that Payton and Rennell Price, drug dealers, took the child with them while she was apparently coming home from school. Other evidence placed the victim in the Price vehicle. The circumstantial evidence remains overwhelming yet Terri remains convinced that her client is innocent.