In this stark and powerful book, Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian explore life on Death Row in Texas and in other states, as well as the convoluted and arbitrary judicial processes that populate all Death Rows. They document the capriciousness of capital punishment and capture the day-to-day experiences of Death Row inmates in the official ""nonperiod"" between sentencing and execution. Included is a DVD of Jackson and Christian's 1979 documentary film,Death Row. It was during fieldwork for the film that the authors took the photos and conducted the interviews in this book.
In this comprehensive, well-crafted book, published in association with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, SUNY-Buffalo professors Jackson and Christian build upon the photographs and interviews from death row in Texas that yielded their 1979 book and documentary Death Row (DVD included). Here, photos and text reveal inmate life, discuss capital punishment, and share the fate of each man: execution, a commuted sentence, parole, or after more than two decades, an innocent verdict. Organized into three sections ("Pictures," "Words," "Working"), 113 duotone photos form the bulk of the book: Jackson's original black-and-white images from the 1970s show mealtime, exercise rituals, and inmates socializing in the dayroom and passing time in their cells, with detailed captions about the procedures and inmates' lives. The images speak to the boredom and sameness marking death row, though they lack the punch of Danny Lyon's seminal photographs documenting the Texas prison system in the early 1970s. However, striking moments, such as subsection "Hands and Mirrors," reveal the prisoners' loneliness to palpable effect. While the repetition of images from the same scene, or single subjects shown from different angles, diminish the overall impact, the book raises important questions about the judicial system and the practice of capital punishment in our society. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
University of North Carolina Press
April 15, 2012
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.