Evan Mandery's A Wild Justice is an account of the legal battles that led to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down capital punishment, then reversing course four years later. He says that today, prisoners who are sentenced to death have a 10 percent chance of actually being executed.
Attorney David Dow has spent his career representing inmates who have been sentenced to death. Despite his efforts, many of his clients have been executed — and most of them were guilty. In his new memoir, The Autobiography of an Execution, Dow details what it's like to become emotionally involved with the people living on death row.
Reverend Carroll Pickett was the death-house chaplain at the Walls prison unit in Huntsville, Texas for 13 years. During his tenure, he ministered to 95 inmates executed by lethal injection. He is the subject of a new documentary, At the Death House Door.
Lawyer, former federal prosecutor and best-selling novelist Scott Turow. Last month, before leaving office, Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of all inmates on the state's Death Row. Turow served on the governor's commission to evaluate capital punishment. Turow's latest book is Reversible Errors.
In 1980, Debbie Morris was a 16 year-old high school junior who was kidnapped, raped, and beaten by Robert Lee Willie. Willie's story was portrayed by Sean Penn in the film "Dead Man Walking." She has written about her life in "Forgiving the Dead Man Walking." (Zondervan)
Judge Alex Kozinski is on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Since the 1970's he has had to make decisions on cases involving the death penalty. But, although an advocate of this controversial form of punishment, he finds it difficult to enforce. In a recent New Yorker article ("Tinkering with Death", 10 Feb 1997), he recalls his experience the first time he wrote an opinion for such a case. Kozinski also writes for the Wall Street Journal's Op-ed page and other publications.
Helen Prejean. Prejean is a Roman Catholic nun. Her book, "Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States" (Random House, 1993) details her experience working with death row inmates in Louisiana. It's been made into a new film, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Prejean has come to believe that the death penalty is not only ineffective as a deterrent, but that the government can't be trusted to decide who should live and who should die. (REBROADCAST from 7/13/93).