This week is Death Penalty Awareness Week at Vanderbilt University, hosted by Amnesty International. Last night they kicked off the week with the showing of, At Death House Door. A good crowd showed up to watch the documentary that delves into the story of Carroll Pickett–the former Chaplain for the Texas Department of Corrections. During Pickett’s time with the Department of Corrections (1982-1995), he counseled 95 inmates executed by lethal injection. This film, directed by Steve James and Peter Gilbert, documents Pickett’s ideological transformation that happens over the course of his work. He goes from supporting to opposing the death penalty in large part because of one specific inmate, Carlos De Luna. Carlos De Luna was executed in 1989 for crime that he probably did not commit. I encourage you all to read the story of Carlos De Luna–the above link will take you to the article the NCADP wrote on this man. At Death House Door is a powerful and moving movie that explores the important issues that surround the debate on the death penalty, including: lethal injection, wrongful conviction, morality and religion.
After the film, three panelists, including our own Stacy Rector, were there to discuss the film with the viewers. There was much discussion on the complex Carroll Pickett himself and the transformation that he went through, as well as the theological and ethical issues that come into play surrounding this issue.
On Thursday, October 1, Amnesty will host Shane Truett, a local attorney whose brother was murdered when Shane was a teenager. He will be speaking on why he is anti-death penalty. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in Buttrick 102.
We hope to see you there!
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