David R. Dow biography

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David R. Dow
Photo: © Katya Dow

David R. Dow

David R. Dow Biography

David R. Dow is the Cullen Professor at the University of Houston Law Center and the Rorschach Visiting Professor of History at Rice University. A graduate of Rice and Yale, Dow's areas of expertise include constitutional law and theory, contract law, and death penalty law. Working with students in his death penalty clinic, Dow has represented more than one hundred death-row inmates during their state and federal appeals. He is also the founder and director of the Texas Innocence Network.

He lives in Houston and Park City, Utah, with his wife, Katya, their son, Lincoln, and their dogs, Delano and Soul.



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Interview

David R. Dow discusses his first novel, Confessions Of An Innocent Man, and how his work with Death Row inmates prepared him for writing the novel.

You are a lawyer working on death row inmate appeals. How do you do continue to invest your all in your job knowing that, often times, the outcome will be devastating?

Given that I get this question a lot, you might suppose I have a well-rehearsed answer, but I don't, because I don't really know what the answer is. Often I think what drives me to continue is the belief that our legal or moral position is so strong, that we will in fact win. Sometimes, I continue because I focus on cases where we did win. (In this context, "win" typically means that a death row inmate has his death sentence set aside, and he is removed from death row and sent to the general prison population.) Maybe you'll just win one time out of twenty, but that one win saves a human life. Other times, and probably most frequently, I realize intellectually (even if I don't say it out loud), that the fight is close to hopeless, but my team and I still believe our client is entitled to the most vigorous defense we can mount (and 99 times out of a hundred, even after we lose, and our client is with minutes of being executed, he tells me thank you in our final conversation—not because we won, because we didn't, but because we tried).

I should add one ...

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Books by this Author

Books by David R. Dow at BookBrowse
Confessions of an Innocent Man jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for David R. Dow but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Steve Cavanagh

    Steve Cavanagh

    Steve Cavanagh is an Irish author from Belfast and at the age eighteen he studied law by mistake. He is now the international award-winning author of the Eddie Flynn novels. His debut novel, The Defense, was nominated for the... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Confessions of an Innocent Man

    Try:
    The Plea
    by Steve Cavanagh

  • Emma Flint

    Emma Flint

    Emma Flint was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England. She studied English and History at the University of St Andrews and is a graduate of the Faber Academy writing program in London. Since her childhood, Flint has... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Confessions of an Innocent Man

    Try:
    Little Deaths
    by Emma Flint

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