DEATHROW 4'?m4f Salvation, grace, mercy, justice, fairness

MAY -- (enters with clip board, shouts) Send in the prisoners.

(Amy, Sue and at least two non-speaking prisoners enter dressed
in brown sack dresses or prison garb)

SUE -- (crossing to May, speaking to Amy) What's going on?

AMY -- I don't know.

MAY -- (shouts) Quiet! Nobody gave you permission to speak!
(points to floor, next to her) Line up here. Let's have a look
at you.

(prisoners line up facing audience, with lots of space between

MAY -- (circles and examines each prisoner's appearance,
consults clip board often)

SUE -- (turns head as May circles her)

MAY -- Face forward! Noone gave you permission to move.

SUE -- Sorry.

MAY -- Quiet! (points to Amy) You. (points to Sue) And you.
Remain here. The rest of you, continue on to the court yard,
where you will face the firing squad as scheduled.

(non-speaking prisoners exit)

SUE -- Permission to speak, Warden?

MAY -- You may speak.

SUE -- Why aren't we being executed with the other prisoners?

MAY -- I have decided to spare your lives.

SUE -- You're joking, right? Is this your idea of gallows humor?

MAY -- No, I'm very serious.

AMY -- So, when ARE we going to be executed?

MAY -- Never.

SUE & AMY -- Never?

MAY -- Never.

AMY -- But THEY (points to exit) ARE going to be executed?

MAY -- As scheduled.

AMY -- That doesn't seem fair.

MAY -- I'm afraid you're confusing FAIRNESS with JUSTICE. The
two are not the same.

AMY -- I don't get it.

MAY -- Let me put it this way. If you pass your driver's test
and pay your fee, but the DMV refuses to give you a driver's
license, that's not fair.

AMY -- Well, no, but...

MAY -- It's not fair, because you have done everything required
to DESERVE a driver's license. But here on death row, all of you
DESERVE nothing but death. Justice would be served if all of you
die as scheduled, right?

AMY -- I guess.

SUE -- But why do we deserve to live?

MAY -- You don't.

SUE -- I don't get it.

MAY -- I have been given sovereignty over you.

SUE -- What's that?

MAY -- That means I have the power of life and death over you.
At my whim, I can let you die, as I did to them, (points to
exit) or I can give you the gift of mercy.

AMY -- It still doesn't seem right that we should live and they
should die.

MAY -- That's because you don't understand mercy as a gift.

AMY -- You're right about that.

MAY -- If you gave a contribution to two charities, how would
you feel if a third charity came along and sued you because you
didn't give them a gift too.

AMY -- That's not fair! It's my money I can give it to
whoever... Oh. It's a gift. You can give it to whomever you
want, huh?

MAY -- Yes.

SUE -- So, you're just setting us free?

MAY -- Yes and no.

SUE -- What's the catch?

MAY -- The catch is I chose to save you two from death because I
thought that you could be useful to me.

SUE -- What do you mean?

MAY -- I have some work to do that I don't want to do myself. I
saved you so that you could do my work.

SUE -- Yes, but, those others... (points) They're really capable

AMY -- Yeah, a couple of them are really smart. Why didn't you
choose them?

MAY -- Because I don't choose people for their intelligence or
for their capability. I choose people I know will be TEAM
players, people I know will want to do my work and who will work
WITH me. (looks at watch) Oh, it's time.

AMY -- Time for the execution?

MAY -- (herds Amy and Sue to exit opposite from other prisoners)
And time to get to work.

(all exit)

(sound cue: gun shots) (light cue: lights out)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
Do not sell any part of this script, even if you rewrite it.
Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances.
You may reproduce and distribute this script freely,
but all copies must contain this copyright statement.  email: