|Publisher||Farrar Straus & Giroux|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|LC Class||KF9227.C2 T87 2003|
|Preceded by||'Reversible Errors|
|Followed by||'Ordinary Heroes|
Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty or simply Ultimate Punishment is a series of autobiographical reflections regarding the death penalty. It is written by Scott Turow and marks his return to non-fiction for the first time since One L in 1977.
Turow bases his opinions on his experiences as a prosecutor and, in his years after leaving the United States Attorney's Office in Chicago, working on behalf of death-row inmates, as well as his two years on Illinois's Commission on Capital Punishment, charged by then-Gov. George Ryan with reviewing the state's death penalty system. Turow, a self-described "death penalty agnostic," presents both sides of the death penalty debate and admits that over time he seems to change sides, depending on the argument. Turow's reflections include:
- Thoughts on victims' rights vs. community rights
- Whether execution is a deterrent
- The possible execution of an innocent person
- If not the death penalty, what to do with the worst offenders
He also visits a maximum security prison and meets multiple-murderer Henry Brisbon, who, Turow says, "most closely resembles... Hannibal Lecter".
Ultimate Punishment received the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights 2004 Book award given annually to a novelist who "most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy's purposes - his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity."
- . RFKcenter.org https://web.archive.org/web/20150619072045/http://rfkcenter.org/book-award?lang=en. Archived from the original on 2015-06-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter
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