Mercy Find Me: A Derringer Award Finalist Short Story

Oregon correctional center inmate Winnie Yates is serving mandatory minimum sentences adding up to nineteen years and two months. Locked up from age twenty until she turns thirty-nine.

A harsh punishment when her victim came through the so-called home invasion with only a bruise on her forehead.

Winnie’s appeal failed but today she has a chance to make a better deal. Her reward will be immediate release, shaving forty months off her sentence.

Winnie has only to own her crime. Convince her victim she regrets what she did.

She has the words down pat.

But how does she demonstrate true remorse when she’s never seen anyone do it?

When today’s session ends, will Winnie walk back to her cell? Or through the sally port to freedom?

Originally published in the anthology magazine Fiction River – Justice edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, “Mercy Find Me” was a finalist for the 2019 Derringer Award for short mystery fiction.

This poignant story of a woman who comes to terms with both retribution and mercy, as well as her own failings, also reveals a dramatic scene that happens offstage in Help Me Nora, Diana’s first Nora Dockson legal thriller.