Machinery of Death: The Reality of America's Death Penalty Regime [NOOK Book]

Overview

Thurgood Marshall said that the more people learned about the death penalty, the more they'd be against it. It's 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, ...

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

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Overview

Thurgood Marshall said that the more people learned about the death penalty, the more they'd be against it. It's 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'll 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.
Thisis the first death penalty book to look beyond innocence and morality, arguing against executing even the guilty people. Machinery of Death is a crucial link in the fiery public debate over the meaning and usefulness of this deeply flawed system.

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Editorial Reviews

Barry Scheck
A thoughtful and compelling book written by people who struggle on the front lines with the machinery of death. It exposes the critical fault-lines: how race and poverty continue to matter; how innocent people can end up on death row; and how constitutional rights are routinely ignored by state and federal judges. Anyone who wants to know how the death penalty really works in America should read this book.
Library Journal
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 death, that is, the rules and procedures leading to a decision to use capital punishment. Death penalty lawyer David R. Dow (George Butler Research Professor of Law, Univ. of Houston) and Mark Dow, a Brooklyn-based freelance writer, have compiled articles filled with compelling evidence that capital punishment is unfairly used against underprivileged minority males. Among the less surprising revelations are that everyone on death row lacks the money to hire a "Dream Team," politics often plays a role in the decision-making process, and the death penalty can be seen as a direct descendant of lynching and other forms of racial violence and racial oppression in America. Nearly all of the contributing authors express a concern for innocent persons being victimized through capital punishment. However, the evidence presented here also reveals that the true root of the problem with false convictions is the judicial system itself. Less historical and more an impassioned, firsthand survey than Stuart Banner's recent The Death Penalty: An American History, this book is recommended for specialized collections in criminal justice. Tim Delaney, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781135326395
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 847,016
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

David R. Dow

DAVID R. DOW is University Distinguished Professor at the University of Houston Law Center and Visiting Professor of History at Rice University. His areas of expertise include contracts, constitutional law, and death penalty law. He has handled more than fifty appeals, including 25 death penalty appeals. He earned his J.D. from Yale University, where he was an editor on the Yale Law Journal. He is the author of three books, including Executed on a Technicality (2005) and Machinery of Death (2002), and more than one hundred book chapters and professional articles.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Slouching toward Abolition
Introduction: The Problem of "Innocence" 1
I The Reality of the Regime
1 How the Death Penalty Really Works 11
2 The Execution of Ivon Ray Stanley 37
II Legacies of Lynching
3 Discrimination, Death, and Denial: Race and the Death Penalty 45
4 The Judge as Lynch Mob 79
5 "From My Vantage-Disadvantage Point": Samuel B. Johnson in the New South 91
III Inevitability and Innocence
6 Jousting with the Juggernaut 107
7 The Politics of Finality and the Execution of the Innocent: The Case of Gary Graham 127
8 Innocence Lost 145
9 Chance and the Exoneration of Anthony Porter 157
IV Inside the Walls
10 The Stopping Point: Interview with a Tie-Down Officer 169
11 "The Line between Us and Them": Interview with Warden Donald Cabana 175
V Lives Intertwined
12 Is the Death Penalty Good for Women? 195
13 An Eagle Soars: The Legacy of Mr. Smile 225
14 In Memory of Andrew Lee Jones 241
15 Representing Robert Sawyer 249
VI Toward Abolition
16 Killing the Death Penalty with Kindness 269
17 Speaking Out against the Execution of Timothy McVeigh 275
18 Amazing Grace: Reflections on Justice, Survival, and Healing 283
Biographies 289
Index 291
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