Since 1976, Texas has carried out 470 executions (well more than a third of the national total of 1,257). You can count on one hand the number of those executions that involved a white murderer and a black victim and you do not need to use your thumb, ring finger, index finger or pinkie.
It has sadly become a cliché among lawyers to say that the death penalty is applied in a racist and arbitrary fashion. The facts supporting such a conclusion have been obvious and undisputed for a generation. And yet we continue to do it.
Congratulations to Dow for finding a new way to express the point. Dow’s Autobiography of an Execution is a rambling and personal work, but such is to be expected given the arbitrary and emotional nature of the work he does every day. I recommend it to anyone interested in what it’s like to be a death penalty lawyer in Texas.