The Last Lawyer
The Fight to Save Death Row Inmates

By John Temple

240 pages, 6 x 9 inches

978-1-60473-355-6 Cloth $40.00S

978-1-4968-0913-1 Paper $25.00S

Cloth, $40.00

Paper, $25.00


"For years, lawyer Ken Rose has fought to save wrongly-condemned prisoners; chronicling the story of Rose and death row inmate Bo Jones, author Temple (Deadhouse: Life in a Coroner's Office) finds high drama in Raleigh penitentiaries, North Carolina backroads, cramped law offices, and sweltering courtrooms. Reviewing the original 1987 murder, the consequent trials and endless hearings, Temple creates an intimate portrait of Rose and his Center for Death Penalty Litigation as they trudge through a decade of work on this case, a typical example that pits the odds and public opinion against them: 'To question capital punishment was to appear soft on crime. . . . In court, one well-known district attorney sported a golden lapel pin shaped like a hangman's noose.' Ultimately, Temple's account is a stand-up-and-cheer account of one man standing up for justice."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Last Lawyer is the true, inside story of how an idealistic legal genius and his diverse band of investigators and fellow attorneys fought to overturn a client's final sentence. Ken Rose has handled more capital appeals cases than almost any other attorney in the United States. The Last Lawyer chronicles Rose's decade-long defense of Bo Jones, a North Carolina farmhand convicted of a 1987 murder. Rose called this his most frustrating case in twenty-five years, and it was one that received scant attention from judges or journalists. The Jones case bares the thorniest issues surrounding capital punishment. Inadequate legal counsel, mental retardation, mental illness, and sketchy witness testimony stymied Jones's original defense. Yet for many years, Rose's advocacy gained no traction, and Bo Jones came within three days of his execution.

JOHN TEMPLE, Morgantown, West Virginia, is the author of Deadhouse: Life in a Coroner's Office, published by University Press of Mississippi. His most recent book, American Pain, was named a "Best Book of 2015" in the True Crime category by Suspense Magazine. Temple is an associate professor of journalism at the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. Prior to teaching, Temple was a newspaper reporter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Tampa, Florida. More information about Temple and his books can be found at www.johntemplebooks.com.

240 pages, 6 x 9 inches