BOOKS: Messages of Life from Death Row

Messages of Life from Death Row features correspondence from Texas death row inmate Roger McGowen to sociologist and writer Pierre Pradervand. McGowen’s letters describe his life on death row and point to flaws in the American criminal justice system, especially the arbitrary nature of the death penalty. The publisher, BookSurge, said the book offers a “unique juxtaposition of carefully selected texts next to the heartfelt and memorable letters written by McGowen … giv[ing] readers a historical, ethical and pragmatic overview of American criminal justice as well as an inside view of death row in Texas.” Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, said, “This book of letters by a Texas death row inmate, who for over twenty years has been claiming his innocence, has a powerful message of unconditional love, dignity and forgiveness. It has already touched and transformed thousands via its French and Dutch versions. I cannot too warmly recommend it.”

(Pierre Pradervand, “Messages of Life from Death Row,” BookSurge, January 2010). See also Books and Death Row.