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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Faculty & Staff

Law professor publishes book about death


Dow_ThingIveLearnedFromDyingHC1389195792Would you rather know the exact date of your death or get run over by a bus on a random day?

Professor David R. Dow of the UH Law Center asked this question in his most recent publication, “Things I’ve Learned from Dying: A Book About Life.”

“If you ask me what’s better, I might say getting flattened by the bus, but if you ask my wife or son, they would pick the other so we can have the chance to wind down together,” Dow said.

Dow has been teaching since 1989. He runs the Texas Innocence Network and a death penalty clinic at the Law Center.

The mid-January publication marked Dow’s second published memoir since 2010. The book follows a series of characters, including his father-in-law, his dog and a death-row client.

Dow takes readers through the journey of the importance of relationships when death is just around the corner.

“Sometimes the decisions people make when they are facing a fatal disease have to choose between what is best for them or what is best for their loved ones,” Dow said.

In the book, Dow connects the three characters’ deaths and how they impacted him in different ways.

UH law professor Meredith Duncan, who has read both of Dow’s books, has taught courses such as tort and criminal law since 1998.

“After reading this book, I wish I had known David’s father-in-law,” she said.

Duncan recommends the book to anyone, even those who may not have a particular interest in the death penalty, because it is a book that is essentially about building relationships.

Dow was a graduate of Rice and Yale and continues to represent death-row inmates in state and federal appeals.

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