Tennessee’s death row cam

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Recent Must Reads

12/5 – Racial profiling goes global

12/2 – Stock options for the poor

12/1 – Barbara Walters, soup shill

11/29 – Cheney’s ties to Iraq

Tennessee residents no longer have to head to the video store to see a Dead Man Walking: The Department of Corrections is providing them with bona fide footage of a real-life death row prisoner only moments before his execution.

In April, the state put to death Robert Glen Coe, the first person to be executed there in 40 years. Corrections officials videotaped the preliminary events to document exactly what happens leading up to an execution. Journalists then sued to gain access to the video — successfully — claiming it was a public record.

The FREEDOM FORUM reports that department officials edited out most of the video to preserve the anonymity of the other people involved in the execution. Still, the document captures a glimpse of Coe shortly before his death, and some of his last words are audible on the tape. The article points out that the video represents both the “danger of sensationalism and the value of informing the public.”

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate