Witness to an Execution

In the past ten years, one third of the executions in the United States have been carried out in the state of Texas. Since 1924, executions in Texas have taken place in the Walls Unit in Huntsville. The Warden of that prison, Jim Willett, narrates a documentary titled Witness to an Execution. It includes first hand accounts from the men and women who participate in and witness executions as part of their jobs. Guards, chaplains and reporters talk about their work — detailing what occurs in the minutes before, during and after the execution. The prison employees say they do the job because the vast majority of citizens want it done. Most are affected by the work. Some reach the breaking point and find they can no longer work in the system.

Copyright © 2000 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

Copyright © 2000 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.