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Anatomy of An Execution, The Life & Death of Douglas Christopher Thomas – Todd Peppers

2014/07/21

So I received and read this book this weekend. It was excellent. Chris Thomas was one of the last juveniles sentenced to death in Va. He and his girlfriend murdered her parents. She was 14, he was 17. She was sent to Juvie & freed at age 21 (with no felony record), he was executed in January 2000. This took place close to where my hubby grew up. I think this book is used as a textbook in some law classes. It was very informative about Virginia’s death penalty and also very moving, a good story of redemption.

Another very interesting book I read about Virginia’s death row is Dead Run by Joe Jackson.  This chronicles the life of Dennis Stockton, who helped mastermind the infamous 1984 death row escape, although he didn’t escape himself.

I highly recommend both of these books, if you are interested in the death penalty, and its effect on, well, everyone.

I took a class on deviance at U of Richmond awhile back, and the instructor used to work at the old Penitentiary. She worked there when this escape occurred, and talked about it in class. It was so funny. A lot of the criminal cases she mentioned were events with which I was familiar. I wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad thing!

I do find human nature fascinating.

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