John Temple’s book, “The Last Lawyer: The Fight to Save Death Row Inmates” is getting national exposure. Temple, an associate professor and associate dean at the WVU Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, was interviewed when the C-SPAN bus visited campus in October and the piece aired earlier this month.

During the interview,, he discussed the book’s main characters, the challenges he faced while writing it and his views on the death penalty.

“The Last Lawyer” is a non-fiction account of attorney Ken Rose’s decade-long defense of Bo Jones, a North Carolina farmhand convicted of a 1987 murder. Temple says there have been many books written about the death penalty but his book is unique because it narrates a lawyer’s perspective.

“I was drawn to the idea of writing about lawyers who exclusively represent death row inmates.” Temple told a C-SPAN producer. “I just wanted to know why someone would do that. It’s not a field of work that has a lot of rewards.”

Temple, who spent five years writing the book, describes it as a “courtroom drama” that could appeal to a wide variety of people, especially those interested in civil rights.

The WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism and College of Law co-hosted a panel discussion and book-signing event in November to launch the book. To read more about that event and watch the webcast go to


WVU News on the Web –

CONTACT: Kimberly Brown, School of Journalism
304-293-3505 ext. 5403