Thu May 27, 2010
"The Autobiography of an Execution" (Encore presentation.)
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – (Please note: This program originally aired in March of this year.) On this edition of our show, we speak with Texas-based lawyer and legal scholar David R. Dow, who, over the course of his career, has represented 100+ death-row cases. In his new book, "The Autobiography of an Execution," Dow offers a well-written account that is at once a personal story about justice, a timely report on the death penalty in America, and a stirring memoir of one lawyer's life. And in addition to telling us his own tale, Dow presents the case-in-point of one Henry Quaker (this name is a pseudonym), who was found guilty of killing his wife and children --- and thereafter sentenced to execution. But as more and more evidence was uncovered, Dow began to feel that --- unlike the vast majority of death-penalty cases he works on --- Quaker was, in fact, innocent. This is a stunning and highly engrossing book --- one that, no matter how you feel about the death penalty, you're not likely to forget. As the noted legal journalist Dahlia Lithwick has written in The New York Times: "Dow isn't doing high constitutional theory here; this is pure red meat. What Dow exposes in this dark, raw memoir is not just a dispassionate machinery of death that cannot be slowed, reversed, or mediated by truth, logic, or fact. He also exposes the inner life of a man who, in the face of all that, cannot give up the fight."