David R. Dow is professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center and an internationally recognized figure in the fight against the death penalty. He is the founder and director of the Texas Innocence Project. He lives in Houston, Texas.
Dow (law, Univ. of Houston Law Ctr.; founder & director, Texas Innocence) defends prisoners on death row and is a vocal opponent of the death penalty. In this true-crime narrative, he gives a first-person account of the legal system and capital punishment from multiple perspectives, altering the details of the cases he discusses so they are unrecognizable. The most poignant and central case revolves around a convicted murderer who in all likelihood is innocent but who nonetheless remains on death row because of incompetent lawyers at both the original and state appeal levels. The author himself reads, addditionally speaking to the ways in which these cases have impacted his private life; his passion about his work is evident. A scholarly essay on legal ethics regarding confidential information is followed by an interview with the author. For anyone interested in capital punishment and for all true crime and legal collections of all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/09.-Ed.]-J. Sara Paulk, Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Cty. Lib., GA Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
"I have read much about capital punishment, but David Dow's book leaves all else behind."--Anthony Lewis
"For a lot of good reasons, and some that are not so good, executions in the U.S. are carried out in private. The voters, the vast majority of whom support executions, are not allowed to see them. The Autobiography of an Execution is a riveting and compelling account of a Texas execution written and narrated by a lawyer in the thick of the last minute chaos. It should be read by all those who support state sponsored killing."
--John Grisham, author of The Innocent Man
--Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine
--Dave Cullen, author of Columbine