On Death Row (2012– )

TV Series  -   -  Documentary
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An inside look at a maximum security prison in Texas featuring interviews with death row inmates.

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An inside look at a maximum security prison in Texas featuring interviews with death row inmates.

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Release Date:

9 March 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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"We forget who the true victim here was"
22 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I can think of no better guide through the bizarre world of capital punishment than this film's director, Werner Hertzog.

I've seen two other segments in this fascinating series and both were superbly done. This one, on Linda Carty, seems the weakest of the three.

It centers on a horrific case but Carty is neither interesting nor sympathetic. She is inarticulate on her own behalf and Hertzog's questioning of her is uncharacteristically lame.

The star of this segment is Connie Spence, an assistant district attorney who bears an uncanny resemblance in appearance and demeanor to Laura Bush. She sensitively speaks to the ability of Hertzog to channel sympathy in the direction of a caged killer while the sufferings of the victim may fade from memory.

Hertzog also interviews a lawyer whose firm has done $2 million in pro bono work in hopes of getting Carty a new trial because her defense attorney failed to speak to Carty's DEA handler. This handler supposedly would have testified that Carty, who had served as one of his informants, was not the kind of person would would have hurt anyone.

The lawyer states that if the jury had heard such statements it never would have given Carty the death penalty. Given the sordid facts of this case, I question that...

----------"James Barnes"

I just had an opportunity to view the segment on multiple killer Barnes. It was interesting but, again, I feel Hertzog could have done more here.

The interviewer succeeds in bringing out the oddness of Barnes but fails to ask questions that are begged.

For example, why on earth did Barnes leave all his clothing outside of Brenda's home? What was going on in his head as he lay in wait in her closet as she did chores and watched TV?

Barnes grew up in an abusive home and it's implied that he sexually abused his twin sister. He hurt animals and his rap sheet was long. What could have been done to prevent his horrors? I believe if Hertzog had asked this question to Barnes and others in this segment it would have been much stronger. Wake up, Werner!

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