Friday, February 08, 2008

SXSW Accepts Film on Texas Death Row Case of Innocent Man Executed: Carlos DeLuna

At the Death House Door, a film on the case of Carlos DeLuna, who was an innocent person executed by Texas, will have its world premiere at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival. We will also be having our annual Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break during the week of SXSW, so we are hoping that the film will be scheduled at a time and date that the spring break participants can attend. They haven't announced what days the films will run, just which films are in the festival.

The film focuses on death house chaplain, Rev. Carroll Pickett, who spent the last day of DeLuna's life with him. During the 2006 Alternative Spring Break, we traveled to Huntsville and the students heard a talk by Rev Pickett. Carlos' sister, Mary Arredondo, attended the 2006 March to Stop Executions and delivered a letter to Governor Perry that said, "It is too late to save my brother's life, but it is not too late to take steps to prevent other innocent people from being executed. I am writing to ask that you provide the leadership to make sure that Texas never executes another innocent person.".

At the Death House Door

Director: Steve James & Peter Gilbert.
An investigation of the wrongful death of Carlos DeLuna, who was executed in Texas on December 7, 1989, after prosecutors ignored evidence inculpating a man, who bragged to friends about committing the crimes of which DeLuna was convicted. (World Premiere)

In production for The Independent Film Channel...At the Death House Door is the story of the wrongful execution of Carlos DeLuna and the Death House Chaplain, Pastor Carroll Pickett, who spent the last day of DeLuna's life with him. The feature documentary, currently in production, follows the remarkable career journey of Pickett, culminating in the story of DeLuna, a convict whose execution bothered Pickett more than any other. He firmly believed the man was innocent, and the film will track the investigative efforts of a team of Chicago Tribune reporters who have turned up evidence that strongly suggests he was. The documentary takes a very personal and intimate look at the death penalty in Texas, the first state to do lethal injection. Pickett was present for the first lethal injection in 1982. At the Death House Door is a Kartemquin Films Production in association with the Chicago Tribune.

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