Death Penalty Trial Judge Reading April 22nd


Special Event

Harvard Club of Western Massachusetts
Harvard Alumni Author Reading

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday April 22nd
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Amherst Books, 8 Main Street, Amherst, MA 01002


Federal Judge and Club Member Michael Ponsor '68 Reads

The Hanging Judge is a novel based on the experience of the author, a federal judge who in 2000 presided over the first capital case in Massachusetts in more than fifty years.  This extraordinary debut thriller offers an unprecedented inside view of a federal death penalty trial.

When a drive-by shooting in Holyoke, Massachusetts, claims the lives of a Puerto Rican drug dealer and a nurse at a neighborhood clinic, the police arrest a black drug dealer. With no death penalty in Massachusetts, the US attorney shifts the double homicide out of state jurisdiction into federal court so that he can pursue the death penalty.   The Honorable David S. Norcross, who has been on the federal bench only two years, now presides over the first death penalty case in the state in fifty years. He must contend not only with an ambitious female prosecutor and a brilliant veteran defense attorney, but with a citizenry outraged at the senseless killing of a white hockey mom—not to mention the pressures of the media, anti-death penalty protesters, vengeful gang members, and the million other things that can go wrong in a capital trial.  

Michael A. Ponsor takes readers into the courtroom and beyond, presenting with great sensitivity the points of view of the defendant and his wife; the victims’ families; law enforcement officers; witnesses; and the judge who, while still coming to terms with the death of his wife, begins a relationship with a woman he is not sure he can trust.

See more information here.

Please RSVP directly:

Directions to Amherst Books:

How to find us:

Amherst Books is at the center of downtown Amherst at 8 Main Street. There is a Subway sandwich place next to us at the corner of Pleasant Street. For those of you familiar with Amherst, we're just around the corner from Antonio's Pizza.

The town parking lot is just behind our block.

Peter Pan buses stop just three-quarters of a block away on South Pleasant Street at the PVTA bus kiosk. (In front of the Fiber Arts Center.)

Click here to see a map.