Machinery of Death: The Reality of America's Death Penalty Regime

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David Dow, Mark Dow
Psychology Press, 2002 - Law - 304 pages
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Thurgood Marshall said that the more people learned about the death penalty, the more they would be against it. It is racist, unfair to poor people and the mentally retarded, and far too often ends horribly in the state sanctioned murder of innocents. And no one, no matter how much they're paid, likes to be involved with death itself. In Machinery of Death, death penalty lawyer David R. Dow and writer Mark Dow bring together diverse views from lawyers, wardens, victims' families, executioners and inmates to show how America's death penalty system actually works, and what it does to those who come in contact with it. Arguing that the more we know about the system the more we will oppose it, the book offers harrowing story after story of racist juries and unjust rulings, of backward judges and public defenders, and of families facing the ultimate decision. Together, these intimate and shocking writings show that in practice, the death penalty is impossible to administer in a fair, workable manner. This work looks beyond innocence and morality, arguing against executing even the guilty people.
 

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Machinery of death: the reality of America's death penalty regime

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This volume brings together lawyers, prison officials, social workers, journalists, and the relatives of murder victims, who all have one thing in common: intimate knowledge of the machinery of ... Read full review

Contents

The Problem of Innocence
1
How the Death Penalty Really Works
11
The Execution of Ivon Ray Stanley
37
Race and the Death Penalty
45
The Judge as Lynch Mob
79
Samuel B Johnson
91
Jousting with the Juggernaut
107
Innocence Lost
145
Interview with a TieDown Officer
169
Is the Death Penalty Good for Women?
195
The Legacy of Mr Smile
225
In Memory of Andrew Lee Jones
241
Killing the Death Penalty with Kindness
269
Reflections on Justice Survival and Healing
283
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About the author (2002)

David R. Dow is George Butler Research Professor of Law at the University of Houston. Since 1988, he has represented more than twenty-five death row inmates. Mark Dow is a Brooklyn based freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Progressive, The Miami Herald, The Boston Herald, and The Texas Observer.Christopher Hitchens is a best-selling author and a regular columnist for The Nation and Vanity Fair.

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