September 29, 2009 7:00 pm
This winner of the 2008 Full Frame Inspiration Award is an intimate look at the death penalty in the state of Texas through the eyes of Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous “Walls” prison unit in Huntsville. During Pickett’s remarkable career journey, he presided over 95 executions, including the world’s first lethal injection. After each execution, Pickett recorded an audiotape account of his trip to the death chamber. The film also focuses on the story of Carlos De Luna, a convict Pickett counseled and whose execution troubled Pickett more than any other. He firmly believed De Luna was innocent, and the film tracks the investigative efforts of a team of Chicago Tribune reporters who have turned up evidence that strongly suggests he was. From award-winning directors Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) and Peter Gilbert (“Vietnam: Long Time Coming”).
The film will be followed by a panel featuring James E. Coleman, Jr., the John S. Bradway Professor of Law at Duke Law School, and Mary Ann Tally, an attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation.
This new film series features documentaries about human rights themes that were award winners at the annual FullFrame Documentary Film Festival. Exploring issues as diverse as voting rights, the right to die, the death penalty and access to education, these exceptional works of art move us even as they pose tough questions about whose rights are protected and why. The films are archived at the Duke Library and are part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials. The film series is sponsored by the Archives for Human Rights, the Duke Human Rights Center and the Franklin Humanities Institute.