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and life along the winding road

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Saint on Death Row

While attending the Austin Book Festival last year, we were handed a tote bag donated by Vintage Books which held a few books that I wouldn't normally have chosen to read.  One of these was A Saint on Death Row. Thomas Cahill follows the story of Dominique Green's arrest and incarcaration.  In the words of Thomas Cahill "Dominique is where he is for two reasons only: because he is poor and because he is black." After a less than loving childhood, Dominique made many poor decisions. After his mother tossed him (at age 15) and his brother from their abusive home, he sold drugs to support the two of them. On October 14, 1992 a man was killed outside a Houston convenience store and not long thereafter Domique, along with two others, was arrested. This is the start of an unbelievable story of a justice system with no justice. According to the author, there was no evidence linking Dominique to the murder and yet with lackadaisical counsel he was convicted and sent to death row. (Neither of the other two boys received the death penalty). The story doesn't end here. There are years of denied appeals. 
While the death penalty may be considered a deterrent, there is no guarantee that the person incarcerated (unless the murder is seen by a reliable witness) is guilty. You've only got to look at the number of criminal cases that have been overturned since DNA testing has become available to know that the justice system is flawed.
This book is thought provoking and would make a good book club read.
Book club questions/reading guide here 

Note: You can click on the Amazon widget below to purchase the book from Amazon.
   

13 comments:

TC said...

Hi, thanks for visiting my blog. This looks like a really interesting book, might have to look it up.

Keith said...

That book looks pretty compelling!

By the way, I'm your newest follower, hopping by to say hi.

Check out my latest post on the Ignite Talks; similar to the TED Talks, but a lot shorter and much more eclectic: http://teachingthatsticks.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-give-ignite-talk.html.

Jon said...

Just hopping by this morning. I think I need to figure out how to access your blog when I'm standing in front of the New Books shelves in the library, trying to figure out what mystery authors are good, that I haven't read before.

Anglers Rest said...

Just hopping by via the book blogger hop. I love Cozy's and hoping to add a few more to my TBR list.

Jo said...

This looks like an interesting book. I'm debating whether it's one I'd want to read though.

I want to say I would, but I think the frustration of someone innocent becoming so lost in the justice system might be too much for me.

I'll have to think about it.

Cherry said...

Looks like I would need to wear my emotional armour to read this one...

Linda said...

You wonder how someone can go through so much in his life! Good review.

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Wow, I hadn't heard about this, but it definitely sounds though-provoking. Nice review, thanks! :)

K9friend said...

Being involved in law enforcement, I tend to have less sympathy than most for the accused. However, this does look like a good read.

By the way, lots of luck on the upcoming big day, Grandma!!!

Pat

Helen Ginger said...

Sounds interesting. By the end, were you convinced of his innocence?

Lizzy said...

Hmm, I don't know if I normally would have pick this one up, either. It sounds really interesting though!

Cozy in Texas said...

Good point Helen. It seemed that they didn't have enough evidence against him and definitely more against others who received a lesser sentence. I don't think the punishment fit the crime in this case.
Ann

Sidne,the BCR said...

wild, don't know how i missed this read, will definite have to remember to check it out.