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A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green
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A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  351 ratings  ·  69 reviews
On October 26, 2004, Dominique Green, thirty, was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas. Arrested at the age of eighteen in the fatal shooting of a man during a robbery outside a Houston convenience store, Green may have taken part in the robbery but always insisted that he did not pull the trigger. The jury, which had no African Americans on it, sentenced him ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Nan A. Talese (first published January 1st 2009)
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3.83  · 
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 ·  351 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Larry Bassett
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Dominique Green was on Death Row in Texas until his execution in 2004. (This book was published in 2009.) During his time there he taught himself and learned the skills of life that no one had ever taught him. He had to decide the purpose of his life when his execution seemed to be a certainty. The evident turn around in his life has been obvious to people who had contact with him. If rehabilitation is the goal, he was a success story by most accounts. Green said:
I didn’t know, after being cond
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
This is a curiously tepid account of a compelling story. From my own experience representing a death row inmate in "post conviction" proceedings, I need no convincing of the futility, and ultimately, the barbarity and inhumanity of the death penalty. I need no convincing of the racism inherent in the death penalty as applied. I need no convincing of the inherent unfairness of "the system" in many parts of Texas -- from the appointment of inexperienced or incompetent counsel to defend capital cas ...more
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was short and could have been much longer. It gives a relatively high level explanation of the case surrounding Dominique but doesn't get much into the trial and says very little about appeals aside from the fact they were rejected. This is mostly a political book. While I agree with a lot of what is said and agree that Dominique should not have been executed, this book left me feeling terrible for Dominique and uncomfortable with the author seemingly using him for gain. Overall it was ...more
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I saw Cahill give a speech on this book and one of the most important things I took from it was how he was still affected by Green's death - he broke down visibly at times during his speech - and his thoughts regarding how irrelevant it is if Green was actually guilty or not. As Cahill said in the book, he believes Green wasn't the shooter but is not certain whether he was there or not, involved or not, and if so how much. These facts for Cahill are not important as he felt Green was not the sam ...more
Hans Guttmann
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Executing innocent persons is a bad idea.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow: what happened to Dominique Green was both a tragedy and a true miscarriage of justice. (And yet, sadly, his case is representative rather than unique.) Thomas Cahill's book detailing his sad life and eventual death is both compelling and heartbreaking, so gripping in fact that I stayed up all night and read it in a single sitting.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of Mr. Cahill's prose or, at times, the way he chooses to frame and/or recount some situations, but his storytelling is top
Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, audio
One thing I learned is don't mess with Texas. This was a compelling story. Having just read The Green Mile, although fiction; it makes me wonder how many innocent men and women die on death row. My heart really goes out for this young man who was dealt a really bad hand in life. Growing up on the streets of Houston he chose dealing drugs as an alternative to other criminal activities. He had a horrible childhood with a crazy mother who abused him (even shot at him on several occasions) and an in ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, crime
Although I don't like the death penalty (though I will admit that there are some people I have no problem ending their life for egregious, well-documented offenses), and am fully aware of the unfair bias in the American judicial system that is weighed heavily against the poor, especially minority, accused; and that it should be as hard as possible for the state to take a life, providing sufficient time for the convicted to appeal and introduce newly discovered evidence; and that humans being hum ...more
Luke Johnson
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
The true story of Dominique Green, an African American man who as a teen was involved (the story never really conclusively explains how) in a crime that led to a death. The book mainly focuses on the attempts made by Green and others to get him off death row, with the whole thing being rather exacerbated by the fact that Green will never "come clean" about just exactly what happened that night because that would mean snitching on the real guilty party.

I think anyone with heart would have theirs
J Jares
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This CD recitation of Dominique Green's story by the author of this book is a mere three-and-one-half hours. However, the author is emphatic about his belief in Dominique Gree, who was tried for murder in Texas.

It is a scathing expose' of lawyer incompetence and the Texas justice system, in general. On October 26, 2004, Dominique Green, aged thirty, was executed in Huntsville, Texas.

The author, Thomas Cahill, one of my favorite authors, takes a different turn with this book. Cahill was in Texas
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
A good book, but some parts of the book were unnecessary and long, wasn't sure if i was still listening to the same book.

anyhoo, when it comes to a black man in america, a poor black man, there is no justice. we see the one white criminal was given an out and not even charged.

if one can't afford legal counsel, then as it was written in the book, the public defender appears to work with the prosecutor and not for their client. no one gives a darn about the person of color. they just want to char
Lori Watson koenig
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A powerful bleak hope-filled book. A sad testament to how low and mean some Texas people stopped to avoid listening to a poor black man. It's equally inspiring and puzzling to me how some people have the strength and forgiveness to rise above incredible persecution. Texas did not beat Dominique Green.
Jonti Flores
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
In my personal opinion on the book "A Saint On Death Row" I rate it a four out of five because it taught me even if you are around or involved in a negative situation it can cost serious consequences, even if you didn't do anything or not.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
so sad
Apr 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sonia by: NPR
This is the story of a young man I promise you will never forget after reading his story.

A subject we don't like to think about but must as it is a stain on our nation that is so generous and yet we allow this barbarianism called the death penalty, a severe form of human cruelty.

The first question we should ask is not was he guilty, but did he receive a fair trial? There are no millionaires on death row. Had Dominique Green not been poor and black he would not be on death row.

A slim but power
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such a fascinating account of the short life of Dominique Green, the lives he touched, his grace, his intelligence and his maturity, and how his life was doomed before it was started. If you didn't like Governor Rick Perry prior to reading this book, you will like him less. Let's hope he never runs for president of the US. If you didn't like George W. Bush prior to reading this book, you will like him less also. Each person, as governor of Texas, wanted to have the most executions to his credit ...more
May 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
A very poor, lightweight book which focused more on religion than anything else.

I was hoping to read a book which was a detailed analysis of Dominique Green, and the circumstances surrounding his death sentence. Honestly the crime itself feels brushed over in a rather amateurish way, and the case is given even briefer consideration.

Green's background and family are again given far less attention than would have been desired, with barely any quotes or details from anyone who knew Green in his ear
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very important book. Its a book that changes the way we see the world and can potentially save lives. I hope. It deserves to be a huge bestseller that everyone is talking about. When we settle into our belief structures we often move through life looking for assurances that those beliefs are correct and give us peace of mind. But one of the gifts of being human is we can challenge our thought processes by reading or having experiences that can lead us to possibly see the world in a ne ...more
Lauren Stanek
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I agree with many other reviewers below who work in the criminal justice system. Regardless of which side of the death penalty debate you're on, Dominique's story was very interesting and certainly worth learning more about. The excerpts about the trial certainly concerned me and I think there could have been a lot of material there. I think Cahill really short-changed what could have been an excellent story and teaching tool. I'm surprised to read some of the other reviews that suggest Cahill d ...more
Cahill makes a good case against the death penalty. I don't think I got a clear picture of Dominique Green as a saint, but one can clearly see the abused child who truly had a sense of responsibility and a good heart when it came to taking care of his younger brothers. The mother who abused him had also been abused, passed around from male relative to male relative for their own personal use of her when she was small, so this prisoner's life, except for the benevolent intervention of a grandmoth ...more
Dec 09, 2010 rated it liked it
This was a short but it inspirational book. The personal and spiritual transformation of Green is something we should all strive for. The book is about Green who was executed in Texas for a crime he did not likely commit. But prison allowed him time to read, study, and write, and grow in ways he could not in life outside its walls. He accomplish things many of us on the outside never do. Like truly reaching out to others,and making true friends. While it is a good read if your trying to look int ...more
Susanna Prins
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is nothing special or unusual, in that it is just one of the numerous accounts of a human being on death row and the questionable circumstances that led him there. Dominque Green grew up in poverty, in a very abusive home with an alcoholic mother. He was raped by a priest and given a gun by his father at 9 years old. Although there was no definitive proof to put Dominique on death row for his accused crime, he was nonetheless condemned. The system failed him as a child, waited for him ...more
Sep 26, 2009 rated it liked it
A short but amazing story of the personal and spiritual transformation of a man executed in Texas for a crime he did not likely commit. Prison afforded him the time to read, study, and write, and allowed him to accomplish things many of us on the outside never do--truly reaching out to others, making of our lives what we can, finding compassion amid a harsh world, accepting love when cynicism threatens to overtake us. The book would stand well on its own without the unnecessary polemic decrying ...more
Jim B
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Similar to Sister Prejean's "Dead Man Walking," this book exposed the unfairness of the Texas justice system. Texas has a panel that oversees death row appeals, but is clearly committed to denying all appeals. Dominique Green was unusual in how dramatically he grew intellectually, spiritually, emotionally while he was in prison from age 18-30. His breakthrough happened through acquaintance with Desmond Tutu's teachings on Reconciliation and forgiveness.

The author shares my conviction that peopl
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a well written anti-death penalty book regarding a particular inmate who was not given a fair trial, and committed the sin of being who was poor and black in Texas. Some may have trouble with the occasional comparisons between Dominique Green and Jesus and find this hyperbolic ( I did wince at some of that), but Desmond Tutu visited Mr. Green and told the author that he thought his descriptions of him were not hyperbolic but accurate. His time in solitary confinement did seem to make him ...more
Joe Kessler
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Green's story is heartbreaking, but Thomas Cahill's account of it really only scratches the surface. There's pathos here for any reader already opposed to the death penalty, but not really any new information or insight that could sway anyone into changing their mind on the subject. More detail about the Green case, its futile appeals process, or Green's spirituality behind bars could have elevated this material. Instead, it reads more like Cahill expressing his grief over one particular execute ...more
Lou Cordero
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
A heart wrenching book. A young boy raised in a horrible environment is convicted of murder for being at a murder during a robbery. He is the only one given the death penalty despite no physical evidence. One of the other individuals arrested was never charged because he testified against Dominique (he was the only white guy involved).

This book raises numerous questions about the death penalty as a whole and the death penalty in Texas in particular. Many advocate against the murder of Dominique
Jacqueline Richardson
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young adults
I purchased this book a few years ago for my son. I came across it on our library and decided to read it. Mr. Cahill promised that once you read Dominique's story you would never forget him...and he was correct. I cried when I as the book was coming to an end. I so badly wanted this story to have a different ending,but as in life, things don't always work out fairly.

This is a definite read for a young person and those who are not so young. I still think of Dominique.
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I have to admit, when I saw this book I had a lot of questioon marks -- wait, Thomas Cahill, the guy who wrote the [AMAZING] "Hinges of History" series???? What, exactly, is this book about??? It seemed kind of random. This is an amazingly powerful story that speaks to social justice and really makes you think -- deeply -- about what we really believe and about "justice." Incidentally Desmond Tutu's book "No Future Without Forgiveness" is an amazing and powerdul book too. A must-read.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This was definitely worth reading, though I didn't find it as moving as Picking Cotton or True Notebooks, two other prison stories that have stuck with me over time. It's a remarkable story of resilience and courage in the face of American injustice. A fair trial is something we think we all have a right to; this story proves otherwise. Once again, money and power are far more important factors than your rights as an American. Sad story.
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Born in New York City to Irish-American parents and raised in Queens and the Bronx, Cahill was educated by Jesuits and studied ancient Greek and Latin. He continued his study of Greek and Latin literature, as well as medieval philosophy, scripture and theology, at Fordham University, where he completed a B.A. in classical literature and philosophy in 1964, and a pontifical degree in philosophy in ...more
“There are no mental health services offered to Death Row inmates. For whatever healing is done they themselves must be the healers.” 0 likes
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