The Guardians: The Sunday Times9/10 (Expert Score)
22 years ago Quincy Miller was sentenced to life without parole. He was accused of killing Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. But there were no reliable witnesses and little motive. Just the fact that Russo had botched Quincy’s divorce case, that Quincy was black in a largely all-white town and that a blood-splattered torch was found in the boot of Quincy’s car. A torch he swore was planted. A torch that was conveniently destroyed in a fire just before his trial.
The lack of evidence made no difference to judge or jury. In the eyes of the law Quincy was guilty and, no matter how often he protested his innocence, his punishment was life in prison.
Duke Russell is not guilty of the unspeakable crimes for which he was convicted; nonetheless, he is scheduled to be executed for them in one hour and forty‑four minutes. As always during these dreadful nights, the clock seems to tick faster as the final hour approaches. I’ve suffered through two of these countdowns in other states. One went full cycle and my man uttered his final words. The other was waved off in a miracle finish.