Q. What led you to write this book?
A. I am always interested in people’s internal, emotional experience, and in terms of the death penalty, most of my work has involved looking at, and writing about, its impact on various affected people – particularly murder victims’ family members and family members of people who have been executed. Curiosity about the effect on defense attorneys was sort of a natural outgrowth of that work. I knew that this was a pretty unexplored area of the death penalty landscape, and in fact as I proceeded with the interviews for the book, I learned even more vividly and powerfully how reluctant defense attorneys have been to talk openly about the emotional impact of their work. I’m interested in how people cope with loss and specifically in how people in helping professions -- people who devote themselves to trying to help and even save other people -- manage internally when that effort fails.
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