Friday, November 30, 2007

Prison Museum to Host Forum Featuring Texecution Witnesses on Lethal Injection's 25th Anniversary

Via The Back Gate, a press release from the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville lets us know about an event next week that I hope The Back Gaters will attend and blog about:
To mark the 25th anniversary of lethal injection in the United States, and to help shed light on an issue up for Supreme Court review in early 2008, Bill Crawford (the Austin-based author of Texas Death Row: Executions in the Modern Era) will moderate a panel discussion on Friday, December 7, 6:30 p.m., at the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville, Texas, titled “25 Years of Lethal Injection: What Have We Learned?”

The featured panelists include reporter Michael Gracyzk, who has viewed over 300 executions during his career as a journalist; former Public Information Manager with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Larry Fitzgerald, who has witnessed over 200 executions; Texas State Prison Museum director (and former warden of the Walls Unit) Jim Willett, who has witnessed over 90 executions; and Paula Kurland, a victims’ rights advocate who served on the Death Penalty Initiative with the Constitution Project in Washington, D.C..

“Since recordings of executions aren’t maintained, the memories of those who have witnessed executions are critical to understanding lethal injections,” said Crawford. “In only a few months, the Supreme Court will determine whether lethal injection violates the Constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Though the panel is timed to coincide with the first lethal injection 25 years ago, it’s also coming at a time in which Americans are increasingly aware of the controversy surrounding this method of execution.”

The panel discussion event in Huntsville is part of an exhibit at the Texas Prison Museum entitled “Texas Death Row: Executions in the Modern Era,” which will be on display at the Texas Prison Museum throughout the month of December.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I attended a similar panel at BookPeople a few months ago with Crawford, Michael Gracyzk and Larry Fitzgerald, and I wasn't too impressed with the level of discourse. Gracyzk particularly seemed pretty flippant with his remarks. Maybe watching a few hundred people getting killed has made Gracyzk a little crazy. Might be time for the AP to put someone else on Texas execution-watching duty.