Mercy is a term survivors have adopted in order to help ease the psychological impact of taking a life when granting it to the living, and neutralizing the undead when granting it to a zombie.
It is always in the form of a head shot, as this is the only way to neutralize a zombie, and ensure that a living recipient does not then become one.
The infected population is viewed as being in a state of endless suffering, and therefore ending that suffering is considered a merciful act.
"Mercy" is often granted to recently turned comrades and group members even when they pose no immediate threat. Mercy is also granted to the elderly upon their request. Such as in the case of Nana Grizwald of the Upstate New York survivor group. As resources are extremely limited, it is considered an act of heroism when an elderly member of a group chooses death in favor of increasing the odds of survival for those they leave behind. It's referred to as the 8th Sacrament.
A ceremonial recitation is given to the honored living, and is as follows:
"<name of recipient>, with this eight sacrament, I commit your soul to eternal peace. I give you: mercy."
- The term mercy is used in the opening credits song.
- The first episode ends with the song "Have Mercy" (Jason Gallagher).
- Mark Hammond - "Puppies and Kittens"
- Travis - "Corporate Retreat"
- Charles Garnett - "Resurrection Z"
- Brandon Doyle - "Doctor of the Dead"