Summary of the Autobiography of an Execution by David R. Dow
Just ask my wife."
In The Autobiography of an Execution, Dow makes explicit the high stakes surrounding each word and action when someone’s fate of life or death is being decided. Dow, who has represented more than one hundred death row inmates over twenty years, begins by highlighting some of the current trends surrounding the death penalty. Statistics from the Death Penalty Information Center reveal that support for the death penalty is declining and that 88 percent of presidents from the country’s top academic criminological societies do not believe it is an effective deterrent to murder. At the time the book was published, the number of death sentences was at its lowest since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. The prominent American Law Institute developed the framework for the modern capital punishment system, but it recently abandoned the project due to “intractable institutional and structural obstacles to ensuring a minimally adequate system for administering capital punishment.”