It's been four years since a convicted criminal was executed in the United States. During?
SV ZOOM INTO CU electric chair
GV PAN death row (2 shots)
SV Cell door
SV INTERIOR of cell (2 shots)
TS Down cell corridor into courtyard
CU Drawing of Richard Speck
CU Drawing of Charles Townsend
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: It's been four years since a convicted criminal was executed in the United States. During that period, the number of condemned prisoners on death row has continue to grow. Six-hundred and thirty-seven men now live under the shadow of death. In the meantime, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to look into the justification for capital punishment.
In view of this, the National Broadcasting Company has been looking into the predicament and conditions of condemned men in one particular jail -- the Stateville Prison near Joliet, Illinois. The film looks at death row from the prisoner's point-of-view. Their horizon scarcely extends beyond their tiny cells and the walled exercise courtyard. But they are now allowed personal belongings and they do get brief daily periods with other prisoners.
SYNOPSIS: Four years ago, convicted murderer Luis Jose Monje was executed. Since then the electric chair has claimed no further victims in the United States. The courts go on passing the death sentence, but there's been a standstill on carrying it out. Currently, six-hundred ant thirty seven men await execution in condemned cells -- death rows, as they are called in the States. In the meantime, the Supreme Court has agreed to look into the justification for capital punishment.
Here in Stateville Prison, Illinois, each condemned man is still confined alone in a tiny cell. All meals are eaten here, and few visitors are allowed. But as in other prisons, some traditional restrictions have been relaxed. The inmates can decorate their cells. They are allowed personal belongings and access to legal materials.
Once a day they may go down this corridor into a walled courtyard for na exercise period. But the condemned men are now allowed additional brief spells in the company of other inmates.
Some of the thirty-one condemned men here are well known, like Richard speck, convicted of murdering eight Chicago nurses.
Others, like charles Townsend, are almost forgotten, He's spent sixteen years on death row -- longer than anyone else int he country.???