By David R. DowBefore the rumors of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death were even confirmed, he was already being lauded as a transformational figure, eulogized as a jurist who made originalism a respectable mode of constitutional interpretation. This view cut across ideological and professional categories, with a broad diversity of journalists, academics, practicing lawyers, and politicians—including Jeff Toobin at the New Yorker, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Stern at Slate, Geoffrey Stone at the Daily Beast, Bruce Miller on the New York Times Op-ed page, and, with perhaps a single exception, nineteen legal academicians polled by Politico—all quick to say that whether one agreed with Scalia’s view or not, he had accomplished something significant. Adam Liptak’s reflection for The New York Times, the day following Scalia’s death, quoted the estimable Richard Posner’s observation that Scalia has been the most consequential justice of the past quarter century.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's guilt was not in question, but that fact did not resolve the moral question of whether to execute him. That he was ultimately sentenced to death despite opposition to that sentence from the relevant community does not reflect failure on the part of the defense team. It reflects the fundamental absence of fairness in our machinery of death.
Will a national conversation about the execution of a possibly innocent man bring about the end of the death penalty?
David R. Dow visited Rick Perry's "The Response" this past weekend, and found the rally less than inspiring.
The American Law Institute recently abandoned its support of the death penalty, but the author of Executed on a Technicality has doubts about how this will affect the state that accounts for almost half of the executions in the U.S.
David Dow, the author of Executed on a Technicality: Lethal Injustice on America's Death Row, is a professor at the University of Houston Law Center. He is also the founder and director of the Texas Innocence Network (TIN), which helps...