Surely prosecutors who seek the death penalty as part of their job must be proponents of capital punishment, right?  Well, maybe not.  Out of Arizona comes a memoir from an experienced prosecutor named Rick Unklesbay.

For over 35 years,  Mr. Unklesbay has sat at the state’s table in the courtroom, prosecuting serious felonies and homicide cases.  He has successfully sent 16 defendants to Arizona’s Death Row.  Today, he is in charge of a state task force investigating possible wrongful convictions.

And Rick Unklesbay argues against capital punishment and the government seeking the death penalty.

His book, Arbitrary Death: A Prosecutor’s Perspective on the Death Penalty, was published in May 2019 by Wheatmark, Inc., and is available in both paperback and e-book at

For more on this new book, read the interview and coverage provided by KVOA-TV in “Prosecutor writes book on death penalty,” written by Lupita Morrillo and published on June 25, 2019.

Prosecutor’s Arguments Against the Death Penalty

From the publisher:  “Arbitrary Death: A Prosecutor’s Perspective on the Death Penalty is an insider’s view from someone who has spent decades prosecuting murder cases and who now argues that the death penalty doesn’t work and our system is fundamentally flawed.

“With a rational, balanced approach, Unklesbay depicts cases that represent how different parts of the criminal justice system are responsible for the arbitrary nature of the death penalty and work against the fair application of the law. The prosecution, trial courts, juries, and appellate courts all play a part in what ultimately is a roll of the dice as to whether a defendant lives or dies.

“Arbitrary Death is for anyone who wonders why and when its government seeks to legally take the life of one of its citizens. It will have you questioning whether you can support a system that applies death as an arbitrary punishment — and often decades after the sentence was given.”