Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Exonerated

Court TV is showing the TV movie version of the off-Broadway play The Exonerated several times this week. I strongly encourage you to tune in. Record it and show it to all of your friends. The play is powerful and I'm sure the TV movie version will be exceptionally well done. The six real-life individuals portrayed in the play are being read on screen by Susan Sarandon, Brian Dennehy, Aidan Quinn, Danny Glover, Delroy Lindo and David Brown Jr. These are amazing actors telling heart wrenching stories. If you care about this movement (or even if you don't and you just want to view amazing true life drama), you cannot miss The Exonerated. These portrayals are real people with real histories and real experience on death row. Their stories are important.

Sarandon is a noted death penalty activist (I imagine she would be alright with that term, but to be honest I'm not sure I've seen her use it). In the article I've linked below, she is quoted as saying: "What an individual will feel or want to do is different from the rules you want your government to apply, and how you treat your prisoners and how you apply your justice is one of the main tenets of society. It's a very mixed message to teach your kids to use words to work things out and then have a government that so blithely and capriciously doles out the death penalty. It's a completely corrupt system." I've never thought to explain myself in this way. People ask me all the time what I would do if one of my beloved were the victim of a horrible murder. It's possibly the hardest question to answer. I am against the application of the death penalty in all cases, but I imagine that if someone I loved dearly were murdered my anger and grief would rock me to the core. Sarandon's statement clarifies what I want my answer to be: what I may feel or want to do is different from the rules I want the government to apply; how we treat our prisoners and how we apply justice is one of the main tenets of our society. Indeed, it speaks to the very value we place on humanity.

TV movie tells stories of death row's exonerated

(As an aside, how amazing does Ms. Sarandon look in those Revlon ads she's been doing? There are so many people UNDER fifty who wish they could look like that. GOOD FOR YOU...and many props to Revlon for recognizing true quality and attraction! You go girl!)

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