Item description for Living Next Door to the Death House by Virginia Stem Owens & David Clinton Owens...
When a prisoner on death row is executed, it's not just the families of the murderer and the victim who feel the effects. The attorneys, the jury, the law enforcement officers, the prison guards, the wardens overseeing the execution, the chaplains and advisors, the technicians "who prepare the syringe and prick the vein" - all of these people are affected, and they all have powerful stories to tell, stories that are woven together in the riveting narrative of "Living Next Door to the Death House." Authors Virginia Stem Owens and David Clinton Owens live in Huntsville, Texas, which has earned a reputation as the death penalty capital of the United States. They call Huntsville "a company town," where the company in question, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, employs almost a quarter of the residents. With so much of the population directly connected to the prison system, the ultimate punishment - meted out as often as once a week - is always "next door." Through candid, compelling interviews with those in Huntsville connected both personally and professionally to the Texas prison system and death row, the authors explore how the steady stream of executions in the town has affected these people and the community at large. As the Owenses show, the ever-present death chamber "reaches out like tentacles to touch the lives of everyone who lives here." Some of the people they talk to are in favor of the death penalty, some are against it, many are conflicted. "Living Next Door to the Death House" shows unforgettably the human face of one of the most controversial and hotly debated issues in the United States today. "A marval of clear-eyed journalism, human sympathy, and judicious reflection." - Annie Dillard
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.71 lbs.
Release Date Mar 21, 2003
Publisher Wm B Eerdmans Pub Co
ISBN 0802839983 ISBN13 9780802839985
Availability 130 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 22, 2017 06:29.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Virginia Stem Owens & David Clinton Owens
Virginia Stem Owens has written sixteen books and numerous articles and reviews. She is member of the editorial board of "Books and Culture".
Reviews - What do customers think about Living Next Door to the Death House?
Honest and thoughtful Aug 19, 2003
In Living Next Door to the Death House, the Owenses have taken on a difficult and potentially painful subject with great sensitivity and compassion. After talking to everyone from victims to prosecutors, guards to abolitionists, they present a balanced portrait of a system that can not be viewed in black and white. Along the way, they challenge the reader to think about capital punishment's relationship to justice and community, and what it means for someone to be executed in your name. A fair and balanced book, I recommend it to anyone seeking a greater understanding of capital punishment in this country.
Even-handed and helpful Jun 25, 2003
I have just finished Living Next Door to the Death House and really appreciated the good writing. The book was excellent! It has been very helpful to me in my work as a Methodist pastor; during Advent I did a series of lectures on "tough issues" and thought that Homosexuality or separation of Church and State/Prayer in our schools would be the most passionate subjects, but I was amazed in that the Death Penalty was, by far, the most passionate and difficult for many. I have learned that I can talk about why I am against the Death Penalty, but I have not had a loved one murdered...... the stories I have heard from my members have humbled me and I continue to learn that this whole subject is very complex. This book takes so many of the sides and I found it to be very helpful. I will suggest it to my people here that are struggling. Again, I commend the Owenses for their excellent book.