The main point of Vanderbilt philosophy professor Lisa Guenther's essay on teaching a class on death row is buried at the very end of her post. That's probably no accident — you have to get through the meat of her narrative before landing on an argument that may otherwise seem too naive or idealistic to take seriously. If you want to follow the process before getting to the conclusion, stop right here and go to the New Apps blog to read her post. Then come back, because spoiler alert, here's the crux of the post:
There are countless prisoners on death row who are working harder than we can imagine to transform themselves and to build a meaningful sense of community. We could learn a lot from these people if we weren’t so determined to kill them.
Whether you agree or disagree, Guenther's essay is enlightening. Read up for her account of what it's like to bring big ideas into prison, and what she's learned as a result of it.