David Gale
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

David Gale

The Life of David Gale

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About Him

Living… on death row in Texas. David is inches from death, but he knows that he’s an innocent man.

Profession… former college professor. He used to be the philosophy chair at the University of Austin until he was set up. Now he’s scheduled for execution.

Interests… activism. David was a member of DeathWatch, a group against capital punishment. As he explains his beliefs, “Murderers aren’t deterred by the law because they have about as much forethought as lemmings… [the death penalty is] expensive, unequally administered, and… we may even be killing innocents.”

Relationship Status… destroyed. His wife Sharon wanted nothing to do with him after his rape conviction. An attractive woman named Berlin practically begged him to sleep with her, and after he did she had complete control. She used that control to accuse him of rape, ruining his life in the process. Now Sharon won't speak to him or let him see his son.

Challenge… proving his innocence and getting his story out there in time. After sleeping with his friend and fellow DeathWatch member, Constance Harraway, David wakes up to find her raped and murdered – and he’s the prime suspect. But David knows that he’s being set up and begins to do interviews with Bitsey Bloom, a journalist who believes his story.

Personality… principled, but also promiscuous and (now) disgraced. Despite his marriage, David chooses a lustful path as his life begins to fall apart. He is a man of his beliefs and will fiercely defend them to the end. But his cynical outlook has also prepared him for death: “We live to stop death. Eating, inventing, loving, praying, fighting, killing – choose a verb.”

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