Book: Killing Time: One Man's Race to Stop an Execution

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Killing Time: One Man's Race to Stop an Execution

Author: David R. Dow
Publisher: William Heinemann

How does it feel to defend a serial killer? To tell a young man that he will be executed in twenty minutes’ time? To explain to your five-year-old son that you’re late because you couldn’t help someone? To realise that a death row convict whose life you hold in your hands is actually innocent?

David Dow is a leading death row attorney in Texas, a state where 99% of execution appeals are rejected.He defends convicted murderers for the simple reason that he feels putting them to death is wrong. He knows his clients are vicious, violent monsters, but killing a murderer is homicide, and homicide, as David sees it, is morally insupportable.

Yet this routine of resignation—to the fate of both his clients and his young family, whom he can feel slipping away from him by the day—is interrupted by the worst thing that could happen to him: the realization that a client is innocent. Not just undeserving of his imminent execution, like all his other clients, but actually innocent.

In this gripping and hauntingly honest memoir, David confronts a bleak yet stirring scenario: to lose this fight, as he knows is nearly inevitable, will be to watch an innocent man be murdered. Written with searing immediacy, Killing Time is both a masterpiece of personal narrative, and a morally overwhelming exploration of justice, integrity, and humanity.

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