Analysis Of David R. Dow Essay

2021 Words Nov 24th, 2014 9 Pages
David R. Dow is a professor at the University of Houston Law Center and a visiting professor at Rice University. He teaches and writes in many areas of law, but does his most pertinent work in death penalty law. In a February 2012 lecture for the nonprofit educational conference organization TED(Technology, Entertainment, Design), Dow discussed his work defending prisoners on death row. He referenced a client named Will, who had committed a murder, was sentenced to death, and subsequently was executed for his crime. Dow said, “People in this room might disagree about whether or not Will should have been executed, but I think everybody would agree that the best possible version of his story would be a story where no murder ever occurs.” When Will was five years old, his mother, who was a paranoid schizophrenic, tried to kill him with a butcher knife. Since he never met his father, he was sent to live with his older brother until his brother committed suicide by shooting himself in the heart. After bouncing around from home to home, he was living on his own by the age of nine. There is no denial that an individual who commits a heinous crime such as murder should be punished accordingly, but what if the crime could have been prevented? Dow goes on to say,
My client Will and 80 percent of the people on death row had five chapters in their lives that came before[...]the death penalty story[...]when his mother was pregnant with him; in his early childhood years; when…

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