In his new book, A Descending Spiral: Exposing the Death Penalty in 12 Essays, Marc Bookman, the co-founder and executive director of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, and a death penalty lawyer and writer, focuses on d As Bookman explains in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, “These cases seem absolutely absurd — but people should not come away thinking these are 12 outrageous, crazy, beyond-the-pale cases. What’s important about these is they are typical of capital cases.”
Bookman joined two other criminal law experts, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, and The Innocent Project Executive Director Christina Swarns, last month in a panel discussion, “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Death Penalty,” which can be viewed here.
The documentary, The Phantom, examines the case of Carlos DeLuna, who was wrongfully executed by the state of Texas in 1989. Based on the book, The Wrong Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution, the film details the investigation conducted by Columbia Law Professor James S. Liebman and a team of his former students, who found that “No one had cared enough about either the defendant or the victim to make sure the real perpetrator was found.” The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June and opened in theaters nationwide last week.
In Right Here, Right Now: Life Stories from America’s Death Row, Lynden Harris recounts what Washington Post reviewer Steven Petrow says is “a collection of powerful and often wrenching first-person stories of more than 100 men sentenced to death,” that is “an emotionally difficult read, but it’s more than worth the investment of time and heart.”
LA County District Attorney George Gascon, Death Row exoneree Herman Lindsey, Los Angeles Rabbi Sharon Brous, and DPF Board Member Stephen Rohde marked the anniversary of Furman v. Georgia last week with a virtual panel discussion on “How we end the Death Penalty.” The lively and thought-provoking conversation is available on YouTube.
The Last Supper exhibit at the Bellevue Washington Art Museum (through October) is a collection of 800 hand-painted blue-and-white plates by Oregon State University art professor Julie Green. But as Green tells KIRO Radio, while the plates “may look looks quite homey and beautiful,” when you get closer you see that each plate has been painted with the last meal of a prisoner who has been executed in the US, with the date and location of where the execution took place. Green has been painting the plates since 1998 “as a meditation, a personal outlet to try and make sense of the tradition of last meals.”