"The Clemency of the Court" is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published on 26 October 1893 in The Hesperian.
The Clemency of the Court Wikipedia
The title refers to Serge's being in prison for the rest of his life rather than being given the death penalty.
Serge, a man who was brought up by a Russian woman after his mother died, kills the babushka's husband after he kills Serge's dog. Serge is then sent to a borstal. The story ends with the rationale that even though life was tough in Russia, the United States cares for their children no better.Serge Povolitchsky, a young man whose Russian mother drowned in a pond
Mrs Sholdi Davis, the Russian woman who cares for Serge
Mr Davis, Sholdi's husband
Matushka, Serge's dog