The Canadian Press posts, "Ronald Smith's Lawyer Don Vernay Writes Book About Fictional Death Row Inmate," by Bill Graveland. It's via Huffington Post Canada.
It wasn't much of a stretch for death row lawyer Don Vernay to put himself into the mind of a killer.
Vernay, 69, has spent more than two decades of his life defending those headed to the gallows — one of the most notable being Canadian Ronald Smith, who has spent the last 30 years fighting a death sentence in Montana for the murder of Thomas Running Rabbit and Harvey Madman Jr. in 1982.
In his novel "Today and Tomorrow," Vernay gives a glimpse into the mind of a young man about to be executed for the Christmas Eve murder of his parents and chronicles the chain of events that brings him to the last day of his life.
The story takes place totally inside the head of the unidentified and remorseless protagonist and takes the reader on a journey that is both dark and humorous from his birth to his death.
"Because I've been doing this work so long I wanted to convey what trauma can do to somebody — how someone can just shut down, which is what happens with this kid. He causes an accident that kills his brother, his parents just heap the blame on him and he just shuts down," said Vernay, who now practises law out of Albuquerque, N.M., but deals primarily with death penalty cases in nearby Texas.