16 November 2006
Last week, we listened as David Isay visited a Louisiana prison where many inmates had been sentenced to life without parole. This week, we tag along as Isay interviews people who carry out executions at a Texas prison. Here's how Sound Portraits, Isay's production company, describes the documentary: "Witness to an Execution tells the stories of the men and women involved with the execution of deathrow inmates at the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas. Narrated by Warden Jim Willett, who oversees all Texas executions, Witness to an Execution documents, in minute-by-minute detail, the process of carrying out an execution by lethal injection. Most of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees interviewed have witnessed over one hundred inmates be put to death. One-third of all executions in the US have taken place in Texas, since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977." Chelesea Merz of Atlantic Public Media urges stations to air this insightful documentary: "This piece is too poetic to not leave you feeling something. The cumulative effect of images, and information leaves you breathless. As long as there is capital punishment in this country ... in the world, it is essential to broadcast this." So, we will.