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Witness to an Execution


The death penalty has been in the news a lot recently. Two cases involving the death penalty from Texas are pending in the US Supreme Court. Just today, the Texas Tribune reports that Texas will execute 7 people by the end of the year -- the fewest number in 20 years.

Caught up in all the numbers, we sometimes forget about the the stories of the the men and women who are directly involved in the executions -- the employees who work in the Walls Unit of the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville.

Today on West Texas Talk we're bringing you a special documentary from 2000 that centers those stories. In Witness to an Execution, we hear from the a member of the "tie-down" team, the execution chamber chaplain, and a former corrections officer. Then Warden Jim Willett narrates the story, which details the process of performing an execution, minute-by-minute.

You can find a streamable version of the story here.

Witness to an Execution was produced by David Isay in 2000 for Sound Portrait Productions, and won a Peabody Award that same year.

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