Lessons to be learned from the condemned

Written By Mary Mitchell Posted: 08/05/2014, 07:06am

The best part of my summer is taking the time to read outside.

One of the books I finally got around to is “A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green,” by Thomas Cahill. 

The honorable Sheila M. Murphy, the former presiding judge at the Markham courthouse, sent me a copy of Cahill’s book earlier this year.

No thicker than a devotional, the book kept me firmly in its grip until the last page.

“A Saint on Death Row” is the tragic story of a black teenager who was arrested at the age of 18 for the fatal shooting of a man outside a Houston convenience store in 1992. Green landed on death row, and it is there that he began his transformation to manhood.

Throughout his incarceration, Green professed his innocence. 

Lawyers who tried to have the death penalty overturned concluded that Green was the victim of a “flawed legal system” that prevented justice from prevailing.

Despite attracting legal help from experts like Murphy, now an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School, Green exhausted all of his appeals without being granted a stay of execution. He was legally put to death on Oct. 26, 2004.

Thirty-two states still use the death penalty, and Texas tops the list for executions.

Yet it wasn’t Green’s execution that had a profound impact on me, though the book moved me to tears.


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