ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty

Scott Turow, Author, Scott Turow, Read by , read by the author. Audio Renaissance $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55927-951-2

Turow brings his experience as a practicing attorney to this thoughtful meditation on the nature, peril and efficacy of the death penalty. His tone is human and warm, but devoid of drama—he uses no character voices, save for a brief moment when he effectively emulates the words of an elderly Jewish man who offers a warning about what can go wrong when a government exerts force against its own people. Much of the book deals with Turow's time spent on a commission organized to look into the death penalty machinery in Illinois and offer suggestions for improvement. He also relates his visit to a "Super-Max" prison where the "worst of the worst" are kept; these passages are chilling, as are his clinical descriptions of the crimes committed by the death row inmates. Turow gives both pro and con arguments equal consideration, keeping his own feelings ambiguous until the end, when he reveals his 0pinion that the death penalty should be repealed. The early chapters may confuse listeners, as they contain a cavalcade of names, but even so, this is a provocative, worthwhile listen, one that explores all the usual questions about capital punishment while raising new ones. Simultaneous release with the FSG hardcover. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
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