David R. Dow is the Cullen Professor at the University of Houston Law Center and the Rorschach Visiting Professor at Rice University. His most recent book is a memoir, The Autobiography of an Execution.

By seeking death, the Colorado D.A. is ensuring Holmes’s victims’ loved ones agonizing years of trials and appeals with no clear end, writes David Dow.

He’s been off the rails for years, but the justice’s latest outburst regarding homosexuality should be the last straw: it’s time for Congress to kick him out, writes David Dow.

Why did the state’s voters choose to soften a notoriously harsh punishment while upholding an even harsher one? It’s the difference between economics and morals, writes David Dow.

Americans are happy to see convicts receive life sentences at the drop of a hat, but we refuse to understand that our vengeance doesn’t make us any safer, writes David Dow.

What these mass slaughters have in common has less to do with the ease of getting weapons than with our society’s reaction to monstrous acts perpetrated by those with mental illness, writes David Dow.

Broken Bench

In the social-media age—when millions of Americans can instantaneously express their views to our elected officials—courts shouldn’t be policing the boundaries of political power, writes David Dow.


It’s no surprise that a new poll found 75 percent of Americans believe Supreme Court justices are influenced by their political beliefs, writes David R. Dow.