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Ken Light and his camera were permitted unparalleled access to Texas Death Row. His stark, powerful images show where and how the condemned live. In the year he took these pictures, fourteen men were executed in Texas.
Suzanne Donovan's accompanying essay, "Shadow Figures: A Portrait of Life on the Row," draws upon her interviews with the condemned men and with prison authorities, family members, and members of victims' families
Whoever opens this book will want to look away, for the pictures and words force us to gaze intimately into the eye of death.
Since 1976, when the U. S. Supreme Court upheld this country's death penalty laws, the population on death row has grown steadily. Of more than 3,000 convicts awaiting execution nationwide, most are male, and over 400 are incarcerated on death row in the state of Texas. With ninety percent approval, no other place in America has sanctioned the death sentence so overwhelmingly as Texas.
Ken Light's raw, austere photographs and the accompanying text reveal what we have created in the hopeless world of court-ordered death. Who are the men who exist there? What do they look like? How do they survive, and what are the rhythms of their daily lives? While outsiders focus on the final act of execution, the real drama unfolds each day in this closed and troubling world.
Ken Light is a social documentary photographer whose work has appeared in books, magazines, and exhibitions. His published collections include Delta Time, To the Promised Land, With These Hands, and In the Fields. Suzanne Donovan is a freelance journalist, a former director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, and project specialist for the Texas Council on Family Violence.
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Rare, raw glimpses into the faces and doomed lives of prisoners on Texas Death RowFrom Library Journal:
Documentary photographer Light (Delta Time: Mississippi Photographs, Smithsonian, 1995) and Donovan, a freelance journalist and former director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, have collaborated on this visual and verbal tour of Texas's death row, where more people have been executed than in any other state. The authors contend that if, as a democratic society, America chooses capital punishment, the citizenry should see how it is carried out. Light's photographs are candid shots of the galleries, of inmates eating, reading, exercising, and staring out from behind bars as they await lethal injection. Donovan's accompanying text is unusually perceptive. Instead of dwelling on the horrors of the surroundings, she points out the ambiguities in the legal system and in the lives of the condemned. Each interview was a revelation to her, even to the point where she could see how much all human beings have in common with someone sentenced to death. Highly recommended for all libraries.?Frances Sandiford, Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description University Press of Mississipp, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110878059512
Book Description University Press of Mississippi, 1997. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0878059512