Anatomy of an Execution: The Life and Death of Douglas Christopher Thomas (2009)
It is an undisputed fact that Chris Thomas was guilty of participating in a brutal double homicide. He was convicted of killing his girlfriend’s parents in November of 1990, was sentenced to death in November of 1991, and was executed by the Commonwealth of Virginia in January of 2000. Chris Thomas was one of the last juvenile offenders to be put to death before the Supreme Court ruled that the execution of juveniles constituted cruel and unusual punishment. In Anatomy of an Execution, Todd C. Peppers and Laura Trevvett Anderson tell the entire story, shedding light on issues surrounding the death penalty—such as the quality of court appointed counsel, the execution of juveniles (from both a constitutional law and public policy perspective), conditions of confinement on death row, and the role of spiritual advisors in the condemned’s last days. While providing insight into the legal workings of the modern death penalty system, the book also offers a rare glimpse of a young, condemned man’s life before and after the crime: a childhood ravaged by loss and neglect, a toxic first love, the brutal murders, trial and sentencing, and, ultimately, a chance at redemption. This is not an effort to excuse a crime but an assertion that even a murderer’s life is worth more than its worst act.
Northeastern University Press
Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Human Rights Law | Law | Law Enforcement and Corrections
Todd C. Peppers & Laura T. Anderson, Anatomy of an Execution: The Life and Death of Douglas Christopher Thomas (2009),