The Scaffold: A Treason Death Penalty Trial
A Novel by J. TONY SERRA
Available now | $16.50 | 135 pages | ISBN 978-0-9839264-8-1
Beginning with an outline as a young lawyer around 1960 and finally completed in prison as a tax resister 50 or so years later, J. Tony Serra has completed his first novel, THE SCAFFOLD: A Treason Death Penalty Trial.
Taking place historically during the Second World War in the South Pacific with U.S.P.T. Boats, Japanese zero attack planes, and on an island paradise, this court martial trial is filled with Serra's legal career experiences but is an example of life as absurdity, all aspects of life are metaphors of absurdity, thinking intellectually in the Theater of the Absurd.
The message, if there is a message, is that war is absurd; treason is absurd; the death penalty is absurd and that platonic love is humanity's only redemption. A native son of San Francisco, J. Tony Serra has dedicated his life to defending society's outcasts.
After earning a Philosophy degree from Stanford University, Serra went on to graduate from UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law in the 60's, an era he calls "the golden age of law."
Excerpt from The Scaffold:
He recited, almost chanted, all of the poetry he could remember. He brought into his consciousness vast distances filled with butterflies and rainbows. He smiled buddhistically at the panoply of mixed colors and projected them, mind-funneled them into the courtroom. He saw the entire court setting, the judges’ area, the lawyers’ area, the spectators’ area of the court consumed, filled, brimming with floating flying fluttering butterflies, and invaded by hundreds of opalescent rainbows. He would be tried for treason in a domain of fanciful esthetic beauty. He smiled pensively, sitting cross-legged for hours unaware of the passing of time. He forgave everything that had hurt him and that which threatened him beyond his understanding. He forgave the death of Sava, he forgave the war, he forgave Serrata’s prosecution of him; he forgave the law of treason and the law of death penalty. He forgave the media for condemning him; he even forgave that part of himself that unknowingly had brought him to his present situation. He became the Buddha for a small but certain moment and radiated rays of light through divine mediums of empathy, compassion and forgiveness. He self-consummated. He was ready for the trial of his life.
About the Author:
A native son of San Francisco, J. Tony Serra has dedicated his life to defending society’s outcasts. After earning a Philosophy degree from Stanford University, Serra went on to graduate from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in the 1960’s, an era he calls “the golden age of law.” In his more than 45 years of practice, Serra has helmed a number of noteworthy cases, including Huey Newton, Bear Lincoln, Chol Soo Lee, the Hell’s Angels, Hooty Croy, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the White Panthers, Bari & Cherney v. FBI and more. Serra has been honored with awards from, among others, NORML, ACLU, American Lawyer Magazine, San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. Although he has been admitted to practice in 45 separate federal and state jurisdictions in 28 different states, Serra still calls San Francisco home. His first two books are Walking The Circle and TONY SERRA published by Grizzly Peak Press.
Photo: Ivory Serra