A sober and elegantly concise examination of a complex, fraught topic.
A thoughtful account of the evolution of [Turow's] views on the death penalty… Turow does an excellent job of describing how he wrestled with the arguments for and against the death penalty… By clearly and methodically sorting through the issues regarding the ultimate punishment, Turow has performed a public service. By turns shocking and engrossing, this book is highly recommended.
In that rarest of achievements, a page-turner filled with genuine wisdom, Scott Turow takes us with him on a mesmerizing voyage through the land of murder that he has sadly learned to navigate with skill and compassion, allowing us to hear the stories and feel the grief of the survivors who loved and will never see again those whose lives were stolen in acts of ultimate evil, enabling us to share the experiences of accuser and accused alike as they feel their separate ways through the corridors and courtrooms that constitute the elaborate machinery of death, holding us spellbound as we arrive finally at the secret lying at the heart of every one of Turow's gripping novels, a secret whose revelation exposes what we truly seek from capital punishment—and why we will never find it there. Written with a fine lawyer's feel for fairness and with a superb novelist's gift for telling us truths beyond the power of law's logic to express, ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT is the ultimate statement about the death penalty: to read it is to understand why law alone cannot make us whole.