Death Row: Countdown to Execution

Death Row: Countdown to Execution

Series 1 - Episode 2

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Review

Susanna Reid meets 70-year-old death row inmate Billie-Wayne Coble in Texas as his execution day approaches.

Coble seems strangely at peace for someone who has waited 29 years to be put to death and spent the last decade in solitary confinement. He has a curious fixed smile that could be read as benign or sinister, though we could certainly do without the simplistic judgement of one lawyer that “He’s evil and he deserves to die.”

Coble’s crime – killing three of his in-laws and kidnapping his estranged wife – was brutal in the extreme, but the grim process of his execution is hard to see as any kind of restitution, and the distress of his family is tough to watch.

Summary

Susanna Reid travels to Texas to meet convicted killer Billie Wayne Coble in the days leading up to his scheduled execution. In 1989 he pleaded guilty to triple murder and has been on death row ever since. Now 70, he is fighting for a last-minute stay of execution. If it fails, he will be the oldest man put to death in Texas for more than 100 years. Susannah asks Billie to relive the night of the crime and tries to find out how it has affected him and also speaks to his relatives and others involved in the case.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Susanna Reid
Executive Producer Mark Scantlebury
Producer Sarah Clark
Documentary