The United States Supreme Court has just ruled, in effect, that a death penalty imposed by juries is LEGAL.
GVs & MVs San Quentin prison (EXTs) (5 shots)
MV & SVs Gas chamber (4 shots)
GVs & SVs Prisoners in cells along Death Row (5 shots)
CU 1st prisoner speaks & cutaway to CU on electric chair
CUs INT. Cell showing toothbrush & soap, calender (2 shots)
SV ZOOM INTO CU Prisoner's hand with cigarette through cell bars
CU Barbed wire...ZOOM OUT TO GV Utah prison
SV Chair where prisoners can be executed by shooting., bullet holes in wall (2 shots)
SV Poster showing gallows & trap door raised
CU 2nd prisoner speaks
SCU 3rd Prisoner speaks
GTV Michigan prison ZOOM TO STV prisoners walking in compound
TRANSCRIPT SEQ 4: 1ST PRISONER: "There is all this pre-execution ritual that really torments a man, to a point when he is actually executed it is anticlimactic. I had to sit there in a cell. They did not remove me to outside, I had to sit and watch them shave his head and lubricate his head, and I had to sit there and watch him try to eat his last meal, which he wasn't able to, and, er, its really bad, and the chair was right there, right down the row; I watched them take out this man, who was a close to me as any of my brothers, and five minutes later I could smell his burning flesh."
SEQ 10: 2ND PRISONER: "I had one of the Police officers and everybody was watching us in the District Attorney,'s office while the jury was out, flip a coin, and I called tails and when it came up it showed tails, and that how I got hanging."
SEQ 11: 3RD PRISONER: "I took shooting, I er, took it because, well, I gone more or less by the Bible, and that the only part of the Bible I believe in: you live by the gun, you die by the gun. I took at it this way, er, I can get killed crossing the street, in front of a car, or hit by a train, or, you know, fall down a set of stairs. If they are going to kill me, they are going to kill me, and there ain't a damn thing I can do about it".
Initials SGM/2231 SGM/2346
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United States Supreme Court has just ruled, in effect, that a death penalty imposed by juries is LEGAL. There have been no executions in the U.S.A. since June 2, 1967, and today 644 men and seven women wait in Death Row cells all over the country. But following the Supreme Court decision a few days ago, these hundreds of executions might now take place. The ruling is being studied in the White House.
This film, from the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in the U.S.A., shows Death Row scenes in prisons in California, Michigan and Utah....and what their inmates have to say.
SYNOPSIS: San Quentin Prison, California -- just one of the many prisons throughout the United States which is equipped to carry out death sentences.
This is the San Quentin gas chamber -- just one of the ways in which a prisoner under sentence of death may elect to be executed. At the moment, six hundred and forty-four men and seven women are waiting to die in death rows throughout the country -- the number is high because the last execution took place four years ago. Since then, a Supreme Court ruling on the legality of jury-imposed death sentences has been awaited. The ruling has now arrived -- the death sentences ARE legal, and the executions may now take place.
The Supreme Court ruling may bring more than six hundred lives to an end. But the suspense for death row inmates continues, for the moment, as White House officials study the ruling.
In Utah, death row inmates can chose to be shot or hanged. They are shot while sitting in a chair, or hanged from traditional-style gallows. The choice is theirs....
The story is the same in Michigan....and in almost every state throughout America. A four-year absence of executions may be coming to an end.