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David Dozier
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A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter races to uncover a secret construction project at California's San Quentin tied to a possible mass execution.


Reporter Garrett Covington tries to unravel the mysterious Project Q while probing the psyche of a serial killer and seeking evidence to free an innocent man from death row.


Meanwhile, a sadistic political operative in the governor's office plans a mass execution. Aram Hagopian wants to propel California's 'different kind of Democrat' into the White House.


This mystery novel follows the twists and overlaps of the paths of Covington and Hagopian as they explore the psyche of ordinary Americans and their mixed feelings about the death penalty.

About the Author

With a doctorate in communication research from Stanford University, Dozier is an internationally recognized expert on mass communication, public relations, and communication management. A former reporter and public information officer, he has lectured and spoken to audiences in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He's currently professor emeritus in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University. He brings his considerable expertise to his mystery novel, The California Killing Field, a page-turner that weaves an insider's view of journalism and public relations to expose the cynical manipulation of public opinion.

David Dozier Typing 1981 SMALL.jpg

David Michael Dozier at San Diego State University, 1981

From Fiction to Fact:

The Death Penalty Study


As The California  Killing Field was going to press, the Death Penalty Study was conducted in early 2020. This study probed the beliefs of people from a multidimensional sample of 1,600 U.S. adults, matched to key demographic characteristics. In the mystery novel, political operatives in the governor's office identify a schism between those who support the death penalty in the abstract ('abstract supporters') and those who are excited and aroused by actual executions ('lynchers'). People in this latter group would be willing to 'push the button' to execute men and women on death row. While the governor's operatives are fictional, does such a schism actually exist in real life? Do intended actions split abstract supporters of the death penalty from those willing to execute ('executioners')? To find out, the Death Penalty Study put death penalty supporters on a mock jury to see how far they would go to participate in the execution of a man they had convicted of multiple murders.

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