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Death penalty attorney’s memoir sheds light on how broken our capital punishment system is

David Dow's memoir, "The Autobiography of an Execution" sheds light on how broken the death penalty system is.

David Dow's memoir, "The Autobiography of an Execution" sheds light on how broken the death penalty system is.

From The Economist’s “Theirs but to do and die: The deficiencies of the system“:

AMERICA’S fondness for the death penalty is disconcerting—and to no one more than David Dow, whose job is to defend death-row inmates in the most kill-happy state, Texas. Mr Dow’s frank account, “The Autobiography of an Execution”, weaves tales from his often-futile efforts—in which stalling, rather than stopping, his clients’ execution is frequently the only feasible goal—with scenes from his own family life. “We planned the execution around our vacations,” he writes of one of his clients, Henry Quaker…

Mr Dow is angry. “I used to support the death penalty. I changed my mind when I learned how lawless the system is,” he writes. His world is full of public defenders who fail to perform even the most basic duties in court, indifferent judges, cowardly public officials, and an absurdly rigid system which honours the letter of the rules over actual justice.

Buy “The Autobiography of an Execution” at Amazon.com.

Photo: Courtesy David Dow

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