An Author Event with Steven Hale in conversation with Professor Jason R. Smith

Union Ave Books is excited to welcome Steven Hale in conversation with Professor Jason R. Smith regarding his new book, Death Row Welcomes You. This event will take place on April 11th at 6pm at our bookstore. This is a free event. Please RSVP via the webform below.

About the Author
Steven Hale is an award-winning writer who worked for ten years as a staff reporter covering criminal justice and politics for the Nashville Scene. He has written extensively about Tennessee’s death row, for which he won an Association of Alternative Newsmedia “Best Reporting” Award in 2020. His work has also appeared at The Appeal, The Daily Beast, and The Washington Post. He is currently a criminal defense investigator in Nashville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

About the Book
In 2018, after nearly a decade’s hiatus, the state of Tennessee began executing death row inmates, bucking national trends that showed the death penalty in decline. In less than two years, the state put seven men to death, more than any other state but Texas in that time period. It was an execution spree unlike any seen in Tennessee since the 1940s, one only brought to a halt by a global pandemic. 
Award-winning journalist Steven Hale was the leading reporter on these executions, covering them both locally for the Nashville Scene alt-weekly and nationally for The Appeal.

In Death Row Welcomes You, Hale traces the lives of condemned prisoners at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution—and the people who come to visit them. What brought them—the visitors and convicted murderers alike—to death row? The visitors are, for the most part, not activists—or at least they did not start out that way. Nor are they the sort of killer-obsessed death row groupies such settings sometimes attract. In fact, in most cases they are average people whose lives, not to mention their views on the death penalty, were turned upside down by a face-to-face meeting with a death row prisoner. Hale’s access to the people that make up that community afforded him a perspective that no other journalist has been granted, largely because Tennessee’s Department of Correction has all but shut off official media access. Combining topics that have long fascinated readers—crime, death, and life inside prison—Hale writes with humanity, empathy, and insight earned by befriending death row prisoners . . . and standing witness to their final moments.

Event date: 
Thursday, April 11, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
517 Union Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37902
RSVP Form: 

Steven Hale

Union Ave Books is excited to welcome Steven Hale in conversation with Professor Jason R. Smith regarding his new book, Death Row Welcomes You. This event will take place on April 11th at 6pm at our bookstore. This is a free event. Please RSVP via the webform below with your name and the number of attendees in your group. Contact information will be used in case of time change, cancellation, etc.

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