Editorial Review –
Proving that a documentary can be both rigorous and stylish, Deadline delves into the hot-button topic of the death penalty, with particular focus on the 2002 investigation initiated by former Republican governor of Illinois, George H. Ryan, after an investigative journalism class at Northwestern University proved that three men on Illinois’ death row were innocent. The current debate focuses not on the moral right-or-wrong of capital punishment, but on whether the legal system can keep an innocent man from being condemned to death. The debate is by no means simple, and Deadline presents a balanced picture, interviewing lawyers, anti-death penalty advocates, politicians, and men who’ve been released from death row, all of whom are lucid and articulate. But it’s testimonies from victims that are the most emotionally wrenching–and you may be surprised by their statements. A superb documentary, directed by Katy Chevigny and Kisten Johnson. –Bret Fetzer

Next up: Future of Food on 10/9

Related Artist Projects

Lucinda Devlin
The Omega Suites


Between 1991 and 1998 Lucinda Devlin photographed in penitentiaries in twenty states, with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities. She called the resulting series The Omega Suites, alluding to the final letter of the Greek alphabet as a metaphor for the finality of execution. The series includes thirty chilling color photographs of execution chambers and associated spaces, such as holding cells and viewing rooms. With over 3000 inmates on death row and 70 percent of US citizens supporting the death penalty, The Omega Suites brings focus to one of the great ethical questions facing contemporary Americans, about which public opinion continues to be passionate. (more information)

Taryn Simon
The Innocents


Image Credit: ROY CRINER
Alibi location, Houston, Texas. Wrongfully accused- Served 10 years of a 99-year sentence for Aggravated Sexual Assault 2002

During the summer of 2000, I worked for The New York Times Magazine photographing men and women who were wrongfully convicted, imprisoned, and subsequently freed from death row. After this assignment, I began to investigate photography’s role in the criminal justice system. Taryn Simon (more information)


2 thoughts on “Deadline

  1. The last photograph is the most interesting to me. The things people become interested in taking photographs about amazes me. I think it gives the wrongfully convicted people a little bit of justice.

  2. For Lucinda Devlin, I did my art research paper on her along with a presentation. Her work is highly influential to me and i really enjoy her work. The death feel goes hand and hand wit the lighting, atmosphere perspectives and minimal content.

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