Seeking to explore life on death row and delve into the effects of the death
penalty, the film featured two criminal’s stories, one sentenced to spend most
of this life in prison, the other interviewee Michael Perry, was executed 8
days after Herzog conducted his interview.
Beginning Friday, March 9 on Investigation Discovery, Herzog continues in this
vein with his new film, “On Death Row” by interviewing 5 inmates awaiting
execution in Florida and Texas. The 4-part miniseries invokes intense emotions
as each prisoner relates their personal account of their life and crime in
their own words, while also examining the death penalty.
This week the episode is a look at James Barnes, convicted of killing his wife
in 1988 and hiding her body in the closet. Upon converting to Islam in prison,
Barnes confessed to another horrific murder and ultimately was sentenced to
British prisoner Linda Anita Carty, sentenced to death for organizing the death
of a 25 year old woman in 2002 so that she could steal her 4-day old son, tells
her story in part 2. Barring a commutation of her sentence, as she continues to
claim her innocence, Carty will be the first black woman executed in more than
The following week is the story of Joseph Garcia and George Rivas, two of the
‘Texas 7’. In jail for 5 years for stabbing a man, Garcia joined Rivas and 5
others in a brazen escape. While on the run the gang committed robberies and
eventually killed a police officer. Rivas tells the filmmaker about the
decisions leading up to the night of his final crime which landed him on death
row. Rivas was executed by lethal injection a few weeks ago.
The final episode studies the life and crimes of Hank Skinner who, after being
convicted for brutally murdering a mother and her 2 sons, received the death
penalty. Skinner believed the bloody shirt, police found him wearing near the
scene and other bits of evidence, were not tested for DNA. In March 2010, with
23 minutes before he was scheduled to die, the Supreme Court issued a stay of
execution and the DNA testing is moving forward while he sits on death row.
“His interview style produces some of the most intimate and interesting
portraits of perpetrators I’ve seen in my decades in television. I was haunted
by the depths of human evil portrayed, and I look forward to sharing this truly
contemplative series with our audience” said Henry Schleiff to HT, president
and general manager, Investigation Discovery, Military Channel and Planet
The state of Texas executed George Rivas, a member of the Texas 7, just over a
week ago in Livingston.
(source: Hollywood Today)