Life and Death Row


Series 1 - Episode 1 Execution



It feels odd that this haunting meditation on the death penalty is tucked away on BBC3 – is it an attempt to prove the channel’s worth in the face of closure? It’s a shame because Ben Anthony’s measured exploration of an emotive issue deserves to be seen by a much wider audience.

The film follows two young men in Texas on death row for murder, in the days before the date of their execution, and hears not just from the condemned, but also from their victims’ families, and one surviving victim.

There are many powerful scenes, but the survivor’s precise description of her ordeal is particularly chilling.


A look at capital punishment through the eyes of young people whose lives have been shaped by it, including interviews with victims, those on death row and their families. Each edition focuses on a key aspect of the system - execution, trial and appeal - beginning with the stories of two of the youngest men facing death in Texas, who are due to be executed. Both have been found guilty of murder, and while the mother of one fights to use the final 72 hours to halt her son's execution for killing a police officer, a woman who was kidnapped by the other reflects on her ordeal and battles with her conflicting desires to forgive him.

Cast & Crew

Director Ben Anthony
Editor Rupert Houseman
Executive Producer Colin Barr
Executive Producer Clare Sillery
Producer Abigail Mowbray