The Last Day of a Condemned Man

The Last Day of a Condemned Man
Author: Victor Hugo
Publisher: Graphic Arts Books
Total Pages: 231
Release: 2021-06-08
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1513294245


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The Last Day of a Condemned Man (1829) is a short novel by Victor Hugo. Having witnessed several executions by guillotine as a young man, Hugo devoted himself in his art and political life to opposing the death penalty in France. Praised by Dostoevsky as “absolutely the most real and truthful of everything that Hugo wrote,” The Last Day of a Condemned Man is a powerful story from an author who defined nineteenth century French literature. If you knew when and where you would die, how would you spend your final moments? For Hugo’s unnamed narrator, such an existential question is made reality. Sentenced to death for an unspecified crime, he reflects on his life as its last seconds wane in the shadows of a cramped prison cell. Recording his emotional state, observations, and conversations with a priest and fellow prisoner, the condemned man forces us to not only recognize his humanity, but question our own. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Victor Hugo’s The Last Day of a Condemned Man is a classic work of French literature reimagined for modern readers.

The Last Day of a Condemned Man

The Last Day of a Condemned Man
Author: Victor Hugo
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Total Pages: 130
Release: 2012-03-07
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0486120961


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In this profoundly moving classic by the author of Les Misérables, a condemned man facing the guillotine looks back on his life and writes of his anguish inside prison walls.

Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking
Author: Helen Prejean
Publisher: Vintage
Total Pages: 290
Release: 2011-02-02
Genre: Law
ISBN: 0307787699


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#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A profoundly moving spiritual journey through our system of capital punishment and an unprecedented look at the human consequences of the death penalty • "Stunning moral clarity.” —The Washington Post Book World • Basis for the award-winning major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn "Sister Prejean is an excellent writer, direct and honest and unsentimental. . . . She almost palpably extends a hand to her readers.” —The New York Times Book Review In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean became the spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. In the months before Sonnier’s death, the Roman Catholic nun came to know a man who was as terrified as he had once been terrifying. She also came to know the families of the victims and the men whose job it was to execute—men who often harbored doubts about the rightness of what they were doing. Out of that dreadful intimacy comes a profoundly moving spiritual journey through our system of capital punishment. Here Sister Helen confronts both the plight of the condemned and the rage of the bereaved, the fears of a society shattered by violence and the Christian imperative of love. On its original publication in 1993, Dead Man Walking emerged as an unprecedented look at the human consequences of the death penalty. Now, some two decades later, this story—which has inspired a film, a stage play, an opera and a musical album—is more gut-wrenching than ever, stirring deep and life-changing reflection in all who encounter it.

Last Words of the Executed

Last Words of the Executed
Author: Robert K. Elder
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Total Pages: 315
Release: 2010-05-15
Genre: True Crime
ISBN: 0226202690


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Some beg for forgiveness. Others claim innocence. At least three cheer for their favorite football teams. Death waits for us all, but only those sentenced to death know the day and the hour—and only they can be sure that their last words will be recorded for posterity. Last Words of the Executed presents an oral history of American capital punishment, as heard from the gallows, the chair, and the gurney. The product of seven years of extensive research by journalist Robert K. Elder, the book explores the cultural value of these final statements and asks what we can learn from them. We hear from both the famous—such as Nathan Hale, Joe Hill, Ted Bundy, and John Brown—and the forgotten, and their words give us unprecedented glimpses into their lives, their crimes, and the world they inhabited. Organized by era and method of execution, these final statements range from heartfelt to horrific. Some are calls for peace or cries against injustice; others are accepting, confessional, or consoling; still others are venomous, rage-fueled diatribes. Even the chills evoked by some of these last words are brought on in part by the shared humanity we can’t ignore, their reminder that we all come to the same end, regardless of how we arrive there. Last Words of the Executed is not a political book. Rather, Elder simply asks readers to listen closely to these voices that echo history. The result is a riveting, moving testament from the darkest corners of society.

Let the Lord Sort Them

Let the Lord Sort Them
Author: Maurice Chammah
Publisher: Crown
Total Pages: 369
Release: 2022-01-18
Genre: Law
ISBN: 1524760285


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NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • A deeply reported, searingly honest portrait of the death penalty in Texas—and what it tells us about crime and punishment in America “If you’re one of those people who despair that nothing changes, and dream that something can, this is a story of how it does.”—Anand Giridharadas, The New York Times Book Review WINNER OF THE J. ANTHONY LUKAS AWARD In 1972, the United States Supreme Court made a surprising ruling: the country’s death penalty system violated the Constitution. The backlash was swift, especially in Texas, where executions were considered part of the cultural fabric, and a dark history of lynching was masked by gauzy visions of a tough-on-crime frontier. When executions resumed, Texas quickly became the nationwide leader in carrying out the punishment. Then, amid a larger wave of criminal justice reform, came the death penalty’s decline, a trend so durable that even in Texas the punishment appears again close to extinction. In Let the Lord Sort Them, Maurice Chammah charts the rise and fall of capital punishment through the eyes of those it touched. We meet Elsa Alcala, the orphaned daughter of a Mexican American family who found her calling as a prosecutor in the nation’s death penalty capital, before becoming a judge on the state’s highest court. We meet Danalynn Recer, a lawyer who became obsessively devoted to unearthing the life stories of men who committed terrible crimes, and fought for mercy in courtrooms across the state. We meet death row prisoners—many of them once-famous figures like Henry Lee Lucas, Gary Graham, and Karla Faye Tucker—along with their families and the families of their victims. And we meet the executioners, who struggle openly with what society has asked them to do. In tracing these interconnected lives against the rise of mass incarceration in Texas and the country as a whole, Chammah explores what the persistence of the death penalty tells us about forgiveness and retribution, fairness and justice, history and myth. Written with intimacy and grace, Let the Lord Sort Them is the definitive portrait of a particularly American institution.

Condemned

Condemned
Author: Scott Christianson
Publisher: NYU Press
Total Pages: 180
Release: 2001-11
Genre: History
ISBN: 0814716164


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An inside look into one of the most mythologized prisons in modern America--the Sing Sing death house In the annals of American criminal justice, two prisons stand out as icons of institutionalized brutality and deprivation: Alcatraz and Sing Sing. In the 70 odd years before 1963, when the death sentence was declared unconstitutional in New York, Sing Sing was the site of almost one-half of the 1,353 executions carried out in the state. More people were executed at Sing Sing than at any other American prison, yet Sing Sing's death house was, to a remarkable extent, one of the most closed, secret and mythologized places in modern America. In this remarkable book, based on recently revealed archival materials, Scott Christianson takes us on a disturbing and poignant tour of Sing Sing's legendary death house, and introduces us to those whose lives Sing Sing claimed. Within the dusty files were mug shots of each newly arrived prisoner, most still wearing the out-to-court clothes they had on earlier that day when they learned their verdict and were sentenced to death. It is these sometimes bewildered, sometimes defiant, faces that fill the pages of Condemned, along with the documents of their last months at Sing Sing. The reader follows prisoners from their introduction to the rules of Sing Sing, through their contact with guards and psychiatrists, their pleas for clemency, escape attempts, resistance, and their final letters and messages before being put to death. We meet the mother of five accused of killing her husband, the two young Chinese men accused of a murder during a robbery and the drifter who doesn't remember killing at all. While the majority of inmates are everyday people, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were also executed here, as were the major figures in the infamous Murder Inc., forerunner of the American mafia. Page upon page, Condemned leaves an indelible impression of humanity and suffering.

the last day of a condemned man

the last day of a condemned man
Author: Victor Hugo
Publisher: BoD - Books on Demand
Total Pages: 94
Release: 2023-05-31
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 2322481270


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Presented as the diary of a death row inmate written during the last twenty-four hours of his life, in which he recounts his experiences from the verdict of his trial to the moment of his execution - some five weeks of his life. This account, a long interior monologue, is interspersed with anguished reflections and memories of his other life, the "life before".

In The Penal Colony

In The Penal Colony
Author: Franz Kafka
Publisher: Memorable Classics Books
Total Pages: 31
Release: 2023-08-31
Genre: Fiction
ISBN:


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In The Penal Colony by Franz Kafka ("In der Strafkolonie") (also translated as "In the Penal Settlement") is a short story by Franz Kafka written in German in October 1914, revised in November 1918, and first published in October 1919. As in some of Kafka's other writings, the narrator in this story seems detached from, or perhaps numbed by, events that one would normally expect to be registered with horror. Internal clues and the setting on an island suggest Octave Mirbeau's The Torture Garden as an influence. Synopsis: The story focuses on the Traveler, who has just arrived in an island penal colony and is encountering its brutal execution machine for the first time. Everything about the functioning of the intricate machine and its purpose and history is told to him by the Officer. The Soldier and the Condemned, who is unaware that he has been sentenced to die for failing to get up and salute his superior's door each hour during his night watch, placidly watch from nearby. Under the judicial process associated with the machine, the accused is always assumed to be guilty and is not given a chance to defend himself. As punishment, the law the man has broken is inscribed progressively deeper on his body over a period of 12 hours as he slowly dies from his wounds. During their final six hours in the machine, the accused become still and appear to experience a religious epiphany. The machine was designed by the colony's previous Commandant, of whom the Officer is a devoted supporter. He carries its blueprints with him and is the only person who can decipher them, not allowing anyone else to handle them. Eventually, it becomes clear that the machine has fallen out of favor since the death of the previous Commandant and the appointment of a successor. The Officer is nostalgic regarding the torture device and the values that were initially associated with it, recalling the crowds that used to attend each execution. Now, he is the last outspoken proponent of the machine, but he strongly believes in its form of justice and the infallibility of the previous Commandant.

The Man Who Laughs

The Man Who Laughs
Author: Victor Hugo
Publisher: The Floating Press
Total Pages: 748
Release: 2011-05-01
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1775452786


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Moving away from the explicitly political content of his previous novels, Victor Hugo turns to social commentary in The Man Who Laughs, an 1869 work that was made into a popular film in the 1920s. The plot deals with a band of miscreants who deliberately deform children to make them more effective beggars, as well as the long-lasting emotional and social damage that this abhorrent practice inflicts upon its victims.