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Waiting to Die: Life on Death Row

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Written by an inmate condemned to Arizona's death row, this unique work describes in powerful detail the challenging realities for prisoners sentenced to die for their crimes. Through a disturbing narrative and rare glimpses into execution regulations, including prison forms and documents, this account reveals the core issues of one of the most controversial and enduring social issues in America today. Examining the rules that govern every aspect of death row inmates' life, this volume describes a world of ...

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Overview

Written by an inmate condemned to Arizona's death row, this unique work describes in powerful detail the challenging realities for prisoners sentenced to die for their crimes. Through a disturbing narrative and rare glimpses into execution regulations, including prison forms and documents, this account reveals the core issues of one of the most controversial and enduring social issues in America today. Examining the rules that govern every aspect of death row inmates' life, this volume describes a world of horrendous medical neglect, dangerous and taxing work on chain gangs, inadequate food, and unrelenting psychological abuse by the prison authorities. A precise and sinister tale, it explores the world of more than 3,500 condemned men and women who will die through lethal injection or a gas chamber.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Since the 1950s, when prison inmates like Caryl Chessman were writing their memoirs, they have emphasized not their own crimes but the death penalty itself. Rossi follows that pattern in this memoir, written as he awaits the outcomes of his final appeals on a death sentence imposed 21 years ago. In 1983, Rossi shot and killed a man after a failed attempt to sell him a typewriter to obtain money for drugs. A year later, he was on death row in the Arizona State Prison, where he remains today. While waiting to die, Rossi has recorded what he has faced behind bars, from the strict regime imposed on eating and bathing to the stress he must endure on a daily basis. In a simple yet eloquent style, he discusses fellow inmates who have been executed, the current administration of the death penalty, and his feeling of isolation and insecurity. He ends with 60 pages of documents connected with his status on death row. Rossi ably documents the horror of capital punishment and the inhumanity of what an inmate must endure before the sentence is carried out. Recommended for public or academic libraries.-Frances Sandiford, formerly with Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781904132523
  • Publisher: Vision
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard M. Rossi was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1983. He is an inmate on Arizona's death row and writes articles, anecdotes, and poems about prison conditions for anti–death penalty publications. He is incarcerated in Florence, Arizona.

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