Congregation of the Condemned: Voices Against the Death Penalty

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Shirley Dicks
Prometheus Books, 1995 - Political Science - 290 pages
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Editor Shirley Dicks's son Jeff was involved in a robbery attempt that resulted in the death of a storekeeper. A bungled defense led to his conviction for murder; he has been on death row since 1979. Dicks has become bitterly aware that justice in America is dealt out not blindly, but selectively. "People have been sentenced to death not because they have been found to be uncontrollably violent but because they were hopelessly poor. . . .They are the losers in an arbitrary lottery. You won't find a wealthy person on death row. A system like this does not enhance respect for human life; it cheapens and degrades it."

Congregation of the Condemned features writings by inmates, members of victims' families, legal and medical experts, religious and political figures, actors, and journalists, as well as opinions from such organizations as the ACLU and the NAACP. Contributors include Senator Edward Kennedy, Mike Farrell, Mario Cuomo, Hugo Bedau, Tom Wicker, Peter Gabriel, Watt Espy, Coretta Scott King, and many others.

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Contents

Introduction by Shirley Dicks
15
The Men on the Row Their Families and Friends
19
Death Row Tennessee
21
Copyright

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