‘A Saint on Death Row’
by Thomas Cahill
Imagine meeting someone with the power to tell you everything that will happen to you in the future. He can see the good and bad, the ups and downs for the rest of your life. He has the power to tell all - including the exact time of your death.
Would you want to know?
In the new book, A Saint on Death Row (c.2009, Nan A. Talese / Doubleday, $18.95 / $22.00 Canada, 144 pages), author Thomas Cahill writes about a man condemned to die, how he got to where he was, and the lives he touched.
Popular authors travel a lot. In late 2003, Thomas Cahill (author of How the Irish Saved Civilization) was looking forward to the end of his book tour and a chance to relax. But unable to say “no” to a new acquaintance, he reluctantly agreed to take a day out of his schedule for a side-trip. The acquaintance, a semi-retired judge from Chicago, had been introduced to a prison inmate in Texas by a man who belonged to a religious community in Rome. The judge, Sheila Murphy, wanted Cahill to meet the inmate, Dominique Green.
At the beginning of his friendship with Green, Cahill wrote “Dominique is where he is for two reasons only: because he is poor and because he is Black.” Green was raised in a household thick with drugs and alcohol, by an abusive mother and an apathetic father. He dropped out of school and started a “business” selling drugs so he could take care of two younger brothers.
In October 1992, after being chased in a stolen car and on foot, Green was arrested. A handgun was in the car (along with two other boys), and tests established that it had been used in the murder of a truck driver in Houston. Cahill says, “the record becomes exceedingly muddled and incomplete” at this point. But of the four boys involved, only Dominique Green was tried and convicted, though many doubt that he committed the crime. Unable to afford private counsel, he alone was sentenced to death.
For not quite a year, Cahill spoke with, prayed with, and got to know Green while the young man was in prison. He watched as supporters–including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, that retired Chicago judge, and murdered man’s family–fought for Green’s life.
And Cahill waited…
If it wasn’t for author Thomas Cahill’s thoughtful musings and careful research, it might be easy to dismiss this book as very biased. There is no doubt that Cahill has extremely strong opinions on the subject of capital punishment. Obviously, as many people agree as disagree with him. But no matter on which side of the fence you sit, it’s hard not to be stunned by the chill of four words that Cahill uses sparingly: he says of Green and the system, they are “going to kill him.”
A Saint on Death Row may not change your mind about capital punishment, but it will start discussion, both politically and around the dinner table. Read it, though, because no matter your stance, it’s a pretty powerful book.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A settlement was reached in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a former assistant to the Wayans brothers against the joke-telling family over a humor book about women who prey upon wealthy men, court papers show.
Jared Edwards claimed in the lawsuit he filed in federal court in Los Angeles in 2009 that during the 10 years he worked as a personal assistant to Keenen, Shawn and Marlon Wayans, he came up with the idea for a joke book about women on the prowl for “sugar daddies.”
CHICAGO, Ill.—Celebrated matrimonial attorney and historian Jeffery M. Leving will be donating an original 1855 first edition of My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass to Chicago State University Foundation at Chicago’s Union League Club on May 19. Frederick Douglass’ great great grandson Gordon Bell will be in attendance for the book donation.
We’ve all heard the sad statistics before and wondered about the future of our community; with so many men and women incarcerated. For years, conspiracy theorists have pointed to the same statistics and claimed that people of color are purposefully targeted and how the prison system is akin to the old Jim Crow system.
“For a long time I resisted the comparison,” author Michelle Alexander said. “I thought people who made those kinds of claims were doing more harm than good.
When the doctor said you needed a booster shot, it made you wince.
You’re all grown up, and you know that a vaccine is nothing but a poke, a sting, and lots of protection. No big deal.
So why is there a little-kid part of you that wants to wail, when the needle approaches your arm (or worse)?
A sold-out crowd of book lovers and prospective authors recently spent a Saturday indulging in conversations with their favorite Black romance writers, during the Fall Into Fiction workshop hosted by the United California African American Bookclubs (UCAAB) in Carson.