There have been eternal arguments surrounding the pros and cons of the death penalty in the American justice system, but apart from the fascinating documentary Mr. Death (about American execution-device designer and Holocaust denier Fred A. Leuchter Jr. — which is somewhat relevant, here), there have been few cinematic accounts of the people actually pulling the switch. Enter There Will Be No Stay — a film co-produced by our own Senior Editor Peter Hall and his Arcanum Pictures.
Writer-director Patty Ann Dillon offers a look at the executioners (many of them speaking publicly for the first time) who are tasked with carrying out the death penalty, and the “unbearable toll the act of taking another’s life has on their own.” The Kickstarter trailer is haunting and heartbreaking, with several of the men comparing themselves to the criminals they have executed. “I look at a serial killer every day when I look in the mirror,” one says.
As the campaign statement reminds us, the profession is shrouded in secrecy, making this a rare opportunity to see a side of the process that is normally kept in the dark. Watch this campaign trailer for the emotional movie, and investigate the rewards — but more importantly, consider the collective catharsis a project like this could offer to a group of forgotten individuals, thanks to one director’s compassionate approach and the support of the public.
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