1. lesrequin
    Offline

    lesrequin New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Plot Reason for Mother's Abandonment

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by lesrequin, Nov 9, 2011.

    I have written 3/4 of a story, however I'm suddenly stumped for a plot area. The story is trying to create significant emotion with the reader through the love of family. The story is somewhat philosophical, referring specifically to the concept of faith. (Both trusting faith and religious faith) If suitable, could you include those features in your answer.

    The story's plot is as follows:

    A son and mother have been constantly moving for the son's whole life, never staying in a place more than a few months. Suddenly, on the son's 14th birthday, the mother leaves him and gives herself up. She goes to jail, knowing fully well that she will get the death penalty. A sacrifice for her son, so he can live his life and not have the rest of his childhood stolen from him .

    However, what did she do to be wanted by the police?

    Thanks
     
  2. AmyHolt
    Offline

    AmyHolt Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Warsaw, IN
    She's a spy or she hacked the FBI computers. She has valuable information that makes people want her dead so she ends a scapegoat for something she wasn't really invovled in or only had a minor part in.
     
  3. SnappyUK
    Offline

    SnappyUK Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    She murdered her son's abuser. The sexual abuse happened when he was very young so he has blocked the memories from his mind. The abuse is known to no-one else but the mother and the victim of the murder - and she refuses to divulge the real motive for the killing to protect her son. Consequently, there is no mitigating factor for the severity of the sentence, given that the mother premeditated the murder and in her wrath mutilated the victim horrifically. She has felt severe guilt ever since, though, since she is a religious person and regrets the loss of self-control that led her to the actions she took.
    Why now though? Has she found a family who can support her son in her absence?
     
  4. agentkirb
    Offline

    agentkirb Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Houston
    So "spy" and revenge have been mentioned. I don't know if you would get the death penalty for something revenge related. Here's 2 more ideas:

    1. Going further along with the "spy" idea, maybe in her past she was a "bad" person... and did something that would get you the death penalty. Maybe she was a part of some eco-terrorist group that killed a guy (maybe accidentally, but there is no way to really prove that).

    2. Maybe she was framed for something and spent the whole story trying to run away but then realized it would be better to turn herself in.
     
  5. SnappyUK
    Offline

    SnappyUK Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    I don't know if you would either, which is why I mentioned that the mother and the murder victim were the only people who knew it was a revenge killing. To everyone else, she wouldn't divulge the real reason, so as to spare her son knowing he'd been abused. It just looked like a brutal, merciless, motiveless* killing to the world at large.
    I'm no expert on the law, but I know (from watching 'Law & Order') that there are special circumstances in which the death penalty definitely comes into play. One I recall is "lying in wait", so perhaps that could be the kicker that makes the murder conviction likely to lead to execution?

    *the introduction of a fake motive, either assumed by the police, or hinted at by the mother might make this more plausible. Say, for example, she took the victim's money in order to finance their escape. Or he was someone in a position of authority or trust who polarized opinion and it was thought she had disagreed violently with this person's principles.
     
  6. muscle979
    Offline

    muscle979 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Maryland
    Murder is the obvious crime you can be sentenced to death for but keep in mind that treason also carries a maximum sentence of death. Anything that could be considered treason could be a reason she's on the run.
     
  7. MVP
    Offline

    MVP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    6
    Just my own opinion here.
    Consider what you posted above. If the boy is 14, his childhood is no longer at risk, its over, he's a teen. This might be why you are not satisfied with your own answers to your plot issue. In his next 3 years, with parental permission, that boy could enlist in the military and have control of his own life. And just as an example, if his mother was in prison, or she was Mother Teresa, if he enlisted in the military they'd be communicating by written letters anyway, and he may even be at a higher risk of death than she would (even sitting on death row). It may be worthwhile to consider taking one of the plot twists you've tried to write for this section, but did not like, and move it to a chapter in the beginning somewhere, creating more tension in his younger years.
     
  8. Ixloriana
    Offline

    Ixloriana Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    the internet
    I think the term you're looking for here is "premeditated murder"?

    A person is much more likely to get the death penalty for something "revenge-related" since the murder is likely to have been premeditated. (Meaning that the killer went after his victim with the intention of killing him, rather than unexpectedly killing him in a fit of rage during an argument or scuffle or something.) But juries are notoriously unwilling to impose such harsh punishments on women defending themselves from abuse or mothers who protect their children.

    Proving it was or wasn't accidental might not be an issue in that case. In the U.S., murder (accidental or not) that is committed during the commission of another serious felony (like robbery, kidnapping, or terrorism,) can be regarded as first-degree murder and is a capital offense.

    An idea might be to have her (possibly unknowingly) be part of a conspiracy to commit murder -- for example, she constructs a bomb that she thinks is meant to blow up an abandoned warehouse but instead is used to kill the head of a company that was a target for the eco-terrorists. She has to be a major participant and must have had the intention to kill or show "extreme indifference to human life" in order for the death penalty to be imposed. Keep in mind, though, in any case, it's not what happened, it's what can be proven. They will have to have some pretty solid evidence to even ask for the death penalty, much less convince a jury to convict her.

    ...Sorry for rambling on! I hope it's at least a little helpful. In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to say that I'm not an expert, just really interested in this subject, so it might be a good idea to verify the facts a little bit. They'll vary a bit by jurisdiction anyway, so if your story is set in a specific place, this might be entirely inapplicable. (Keep in mind that capital punishment is outlawed entirely in some places.)
     
  9. shyxter
    Offline

    shyxter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    The crime of the mother must involve a deep emotion in it. In the past, she must have been involved in illegal dealings because of poverty. She wished to lead a new life for the sake of her son but the leader of the illegal group won't let her. They threatened to kill her if she moves away from the group and so she killed a few members of that group in l her pursuit to be set free. She runs away and tries to hide her past. But her past will keep haunting her until she is dead. Something like that....

    Just a suggestion ;) Thank you.
     
  10. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    I don't think that the death penalty is very often guaranteed - if you need her death to be _assured_, I think that it needs to come from someone other than the justice system. For example, maybe some criminal organization is looking for her and will kill her if she's identified and in jail?

    I also agree that at age fourteen, going to jail to give him back his childhood is pretty weak. Now, going to jail to keep him _safe_ could be more likely. What if she agrees to testify against someone in exchange for her son getting witness protection? That has the obvious flaw that if he can be safe in witness protection, so can she, so there's still work to do here.
     

Share This Page