Monday, February 8, 2010

The Autobiography of an Execution

Texas Death Row Appellate Attorney David Dow was interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air, today.  At the link you can listen to the interview.  It was a riveting discussion of crime and punishment. 

I was telling friends this morning that the most dramatic insight in this interview with Professor Dow was his observation that the persons Texas kills are not the same persons by and large who killed, if in fact they are guilty which in and of itself is a big question mark in Texas.  In many instances these death row inmates are the children who grew up with out parents who were themselves victims of horrific violence, who are drug and alcohol addicted and certainly moving in the maelstrom of life without skill sets.  After years on death row, many of these folks grow up, mature, become educated; and, God forbid, become rehabilitated.  But we kill them anyway.

Dow is not one of those dreamy lefties, he acknowledges that on rare occasion real and genuine evil exists among this population but by and large these are the exceptions, not the rule.

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