Inside America's Capital Punishment Crisis (2014)



Hank Skinner has been on death row in Texas for 19 years no no I mean we'll get it together don't worry it there are still doubts over his guilt I'm very tired this is taking a lot out of me I spent 19 years here for something I didn't do and there's no way in hell I can explain you in one hour what I've been through I treat Bera has spent the last 11 years on death row in Arizona this sadness I mean it's not anger it's just you know I hate to be blunt but it sucks I mean that's like the best analogy I could say I Anthony Graves was held on death row in Texas for 18 years before finally being found innocent so if you think Hale is your worst or worst nightmare and that's what I lived your worst our worst nightmares for six thousand six hundred and forty days they have an expression around here don't mess with Texas each year more people are executed in the Lone Star State than any other in the USA with as many as 70% of Texans avowing support for capital punishment it's an eye for an eye in the deep south this is death row in Livingston those imprisoned here wait an average of 10 years before they can appeal their sentence it costs the taxpayer in the region of two million dollars per convict far more costly than life imprisonment Hank Skinner is alleged to have killed 3 people for 19 years he has lived in isolation in a Cell measuring 7 square meters many inmates end up committing suicide others die while still inside according to Hank it's torture in slow-motion you can hear people crying in the night hear guys cry here all the time it's it's difficult to watch people die over and over and over without having some kind of feelings about it you know what I'm saying and it's hard on you and then sometimes you get selfish and you think well it was better him than me then you feel guilty for thinking something like that about somebody that you cared something about so why is the death penalty still in use in the US a convicted murderer may be imprisoned until their death without chance of parole the spokeswoman for the Houston Prosecutor's Office says that for most victims relatives a life sentence is not sufficient punishment they enjoy taking a deep breath they enjoy you know being allowed to read being allowed to go outside for an hour a day and exercise there are plenty of people who think that the death row in itself shouldn't exist that if you're found guilty of murder you should be taken out back and hung with it you know closest street the Huntsville unit on this gurney the state disposes of those deemed incurable monsters in the eyes of the law by means of lethal injection behind the glass on the right the relatives of the victim on the Left those of the condemned three years ago Hank Skinner sat in this cell just minutes from death so I'm thinking that's it it's a wrap it's over with I'm baited you know and so I told my daughter I said after they kill me I said I want you to go over the bar and get drunk and every other shot at the keel of this one's for Dad thirteen minutes before the lethal injection was to be administered the warden received the phone call from the Supreme Court there was to be no execution insufficient DNA evidence had let Hank off the hook seventeen years after the crime he's supposed to have perpetrated it was New Year's Eve 1993 Hanks girlfriend and her two sons were found brutally murdered at home with Hank passed out drunk on the sofa he has always maintained his innocence but her neighbor claims he confessed to the crime the jury was unanimous and Hank was sentenced to death she has recanted her testimony fully and said that he forced her to lie he told her that if she didn't say that he was going to charge her as being an accessory take her kids away from her put her in a penitentiary for the rest of her life he's under enormous pressure and so he's thinking about getting elected next year I got to convict somebody might as well be him allegations of blackmail and witness interference availment Lee denied by the US Department of Justice but as a renowned legal expert on capital punishment explains this is the sad reality in the south of the country what you have are some prosecutors that basically just cheat lie and steal they'll hide evidence they'll know it's there but they know if that evidence comes out they're not going to win their case they just assume everybody's guilty we have a system where you're supposed to be presumed innocent quite frankly when somebody gets charged here they're presumed guilty in Phoenix Arizona death row inmate number one three six two two six no longer wants to live his wife has filed for divorce there's a stigma to her being married to me there's a lot of people to give her grief over it and that's why I chose to give up because it made more sense to me to just get executed Patrick is not innocent a former neo-nazi he has committed serious acts of violence he looked on his two fellow skinheads killed another gang member before cutting off the victims finger the prosecutor made a deal with the two murderers before the case was tried in exchange for information they were given long prison sentences of the three only one ended up on death row Patrick never yeah that's totally the prosecutors discretion to make that decision I think it gives too much power to the prosecutors and you've diminished the power of the judges because they don't have control over sentencing prosecutors control it by plea bargaining in many ways that's what our systems evolved in that the prosecutor has become a judge today is Patrick's sanity hearing the court will decide whether he can still be held accountable for his decisions having elected not to appeal against the death penalty his parents have travelled for six days by car from Alaska in order to attend this is the closest I've been to my son in ten years in a room to almost touch they didn't even let us touch him when they got that he got sentenced they so it's been 10 years since I put my hand on him and said son I love you I'm praying for you I'm there for you today was like joy to be in the same room with them it's prison sentence and someone will be three in three years I can't discuss a pending case I'm sorry but that is already been decided how can you discuss a pending case is the death penalty lethal Audrey do you see the danger that the death penalty can be a lethal lottery certainly it can be somebody could make that argument yes but then it's I mean it should be abolished and if you oh I I I don't agree with that argument I don't agree with it the majority of Texans don't agree with it I feel it's just I do Anthony Graves an innocent civilian was imprisoned for 18 years awaiting execution is this American justice the state of Texas intentions were to kill me you know not only just to take 2/3 of my life but to kill me so yeah the whole punishment was to take something and and what the eye could see they took for me but there was a part of me that they just could never touch that was my dignity my soul my spirit graves case was another gruesome murder three children a teenager and a grandmother were beaten to within an inch of their lives and then shot a man named Robert Carter was identified as the perpetrator but the prosecutor suspected that he had an accomplice he came under pressure to name names Anthony was then arrested and taken into custody there's a big mistake capital murder I know you shout got him I like our dream will alert me Carter later admitted several times that Graves was innocent the prosecutor was informed but not the defense and critically neither with the jury they went on to condemn Anthony graves to death I think people stereotype in this young black man I seen 11 white jurors in one black man sit there be convinced that this young black man because who he is and they're my priority this even though we don't have evidence he probably did this that's how they convicted me poor and black but she fought disadvantage in the American justice system the case was reviewed several times without consideration of any additional evidence until finally the Supreme Court noticed the blatant miscarriage of justice if somebody could have afforded to pay out for a lawyer for you it would have been different no of course look money rules over here yeah you know we gotta think I'll pay justice since 1976 142 death sentences have been lifted talent with the number of prisoners executed the rate of error is 10 percent one in every ten sentenced to death is innocent doesn't that put the whole system into question I don't think so I think it validates the system I think it says we've got checks and balances in place and they're working so that when you get to the end 20 years of the lives of death row inmates and and if you can find a perfect system we'll use it how many percent chance do you give yourself to get out of it I don't even think about that if that would be what would drive me crazy for the parents of inmate Patrick bear up it was not enough that they should live in dread of their son's extermination by the state they must now mourn the death of his younger brother who recently committed suicide the death penalty never simply ends one life Anthony Graves has received approximately 1 million dollars from the state of Texas in compensation but no one has officially apologized what's happened to him could happen to anybody and he has vowed to fight to the death against the draconian practice

29 thoughts on “Inside America's Capital Punishment Crisis (2014)

  • The narrator disgusts me with that sickening accent. How about making a video about the victims who were slaughtered at the hands of these whiners.

  • Witches in UK need this kind of treatment they work in government buildings , tax office, banks, insurance companies, forex trading , They work in high level jobs and they worship the devil's at night most of them hate men like in social services, hospital and reception at the dentist. And doctor appointment desks .

  • Way TO many DAs who reach out to far for a conviction. Beth SILVERMAN out of San Fernando court being one.

  • I was charged with murder AND kidnapping at 19 and was facing the Death Penalty, Mitigating Circumstances deemed Death PENALTY out,and lwop being the Outcome if found guilty, I didn't do it and thank God I was given a chance and a 9 year sentence. It ruined my life, be careful about who you call a friend. Your just as Guilty as he being in the same place and car

  • 10:35 his answer makes me think how is America any batter at criminal justice then so called third world my country.damn man nothing can bring bak this mans 18 yrs now.

  • I just changed my mind on the death penalty.1 in 10 people sentenced to death are innocent,did i hear this right?? I was in favor of the death penalty & now I am not.1/1000 is way way to high1/10 is a joke.The states say they have the best justice system in the world with those stats I question that.

  • That's a moral travesty – death for witnessing a murder, whilst the murderers themselves are probably free now (three years from the date of this video, I heard, one murderer could be released). The US seems to have a rather warped view of justice and rehabilitation.

  • My state (Illinois) abolished it awhile ago because there were many people on death row for long time that were exonerated due to DNA evidence. Turns out Chicago PD were beating confessions out of people. This made me convinced that the Death Penalty should be abolished nationwide. Life Imprisonment without Parole is punishment enough. If the crime is heinous enough, lock em' up in a Florence ADX type of facility.

  • The spokeswoman from Houston prosecutor office is total evil psychopath, i wanna hear her opinion if a close member of her family got to death row ….!!!!!

  • Who is that sack o shit texas prosecutor bitch, if you know her pass this along. "Don't be so smug to judge morality until yours has been tested". Unbelievable freaking bitch needs a cell for 20 years, then let her out and we'll all say oops, sorry, run along now.

  • Judges and Prosecutors are elected officials in Texas and Arizona, so you are essentially being tried, convicted, and sentenced by politicians who have to constantly look over their shoulder and worry about will they be reelected.
    The color of your skin, what state you are being tried in, and how much money you have in your bank account play a much bigger role in whether you get sentenced to death or not rather than your guilt or innocence.

  • In Europe we dont have the death penalty but we also have healthcare and higher education for all, very different from America. USA a 3rd world country mascarading as a 1st world country.

  • How thoughtful of Ms. Kinney to say – hey, give us a perfect system and we will use it – what she really is saying is, Yes, we know our system is far from being perfect but guess what …. we are willing to execute one out of ten who is innocent ….. doesn’t she really say that in full knowledge of committing state approved, first degree murder on one of ten people on death row is common practice and considered collateral damage ?? This statement is sickening arrogant and completely stupid at the same time.
    Regardless of race and color and social background, serious crimes need serious punishment but capital punishment is just not appropriate and should not be considered in any way with a 10% failure tolerance.
    How can jury members, judges and governors sleep at night and see their faces in the mirror under such circumstances. Welcome America – you are in great company with countries like Iran, Irak, Egypt etc. It is sickening to see this in the 21. century.
    Go on killing innocent people and blame it on a failure system …. I am sure that the victims of state murder and their families will understand ….
    SWITCH OFF THIS FAILURE SYSTEM
    IF THIS IS THE BEST THAT YOU CAN DO THEN BETTER STOP DOING IT !!!!

  • Am so happy that Anthony Graves was exonerated and I hope he was handsomely repaid for such a life of horror that he lived. All the people who participated in sending him to death row should be crawling at his feet and begging for forgiveness. I hope that you can have a wonderful life now, Anthony.

  • Amazing everyone in prison is innocent. Why would they lie. Forget the evidence. For the trial. Forgot the victims.
    Release everyone who says they are innocent.

  • 100 percent agree with the one million dollars a year.
    And absolutely should only be handed a death sentence with undoubted evidence. It's a little gung hoe if you ask me.
    Too late once someone is executed then later oops sorry we made a mistake.

  • To be honest death penalty should be abolished i used to think it was necessary but it’s not you put a person on death row for about ten years at the least but god forbid the person attempts suicide they revive them just to throw them back in a cage like wtf. As far as the bitch in the cheetah print can someone accidentally find her guilty of a crime put her on death row for idk 18 yrs and then ask her if she feels the same way I doubt she will.

  • USA is a miserable country who wants looks like the best on the planet. Instead invade other countries you guys should fix your issues first that apparently are plenty.

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