Robert Blecker is professor of law at NYU, and probably America’s leading proponent of the death penalty. He’s consumed by his belief in the justice of the capital punishment. In addition to writing and teaching on the subject, making news appearances, and testifying before the senate regarding the death penalty, he has personally conducted several interviews with inmates on death row, getting their stories to use for his crusade (a term I don’t really use negatively here). One inmate with whom Blecker spent a lot of time was Daryl Holton, a man who plead guilty to lining his four children up in a barn and shooting them execution style. In their interviews, Robert and Daryl struck up a real, if ironic, friendship, and this documentary details both of their lives, the development of their friendship, and the internal struggles that ensued as Robert continued to fight for the laws that would inevitably end the life of his friend.
The movie seems like it intentionally wrestles with the issue of the morality of the death penalty, rather than merely telling both person’s stories. At one point in the trailer, Robert Blecker makes the statement that “the remote, remote possibility of executing an innocent person is the price of doing justice”, so it seems like actual arguments are involved there, which is exciting to me. It looks like it’s worth a watch! Comes out Feb, 27.