The Crying Tree 4

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The mystery gets solved and we hear the truth straight from the horse’s mouth.

I like the transformation Irene has gone through. From a mild-mannered, pliant woman, she has become a sure-footed, upstanding woman. She believes that Daniel’s execution will not bring her son back, and thinks that it has to do more with vengeance than with justice. I think she has a right to have her own feelings and opinions. So I find her sister’s and the minister’s opinions totally out of line. She’s the mother and the one who lost her son, so who are these people to tell her how to feel? I know that maybe Carol is afraid her sister is being taken for a ride, but in no moment does she try to understand her sister. And I find the minister’s words and attitude baffling. How can a man of the cloth preach for the capital punishment? Shouldn’t he be all about forgiveness and mercy? His attitude is totally shocking and a contradiction to what he preaches.

I already suspected what had happened to Shep. It was pretty obvious that Shep could be homosexual, and his father being involved in his death. Daniel was his lover. Isn’t a fourteen-year-old a bit too young to have relations? Daniel was nineteen at the time. Was he considered an adult at that age, and therefore, it would be illegal for him to have relations with a minor? Or would they both be considered minors? It’s understandable that in small, old-fashioned communities, what was happening between Shep and Daniel could be considered worse  than the work of devil. It is a shame that because of bigotry, Shep ended up dead. It’s not clear what happened. Somehow Daniel had a gun and when Nate was beating his son to a pulp, Daniel wanted to defend him and I guess he shot and Shep received the impact.

Now Irene has gone to Oregon. I guess she wants to stop the execution as Daniel didn’t really murder Shep. I hope she’s in time to stop his execution. I wonder why Daniel never said anything. Was he trying to protect Shep’s family? That shows that he must have loved Shep so much that he is ready to die for a crime he didn’t commit.

The topic of capital punishment is no doubt quite controversial. What the author exposes here makes us wonder what death penalty really says about a society and what that society wants. It’s hard to be cold and understanding when some innocent people are brutally killed, especially in the case of children. Yet, I want to believe that there is another alternative to death; Is death a right punishment or as the book explains in Irene’s words, just a kind of revenge?


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