Witness to an Execution

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The most amazing thing happened while I was listening to “Witness to an Execution” many years ago.

I was teaching radio storytelling in a youth jail in Maine with Claire Holman of Blunt Youth Radio. We played “Witness” for about a dozen students.

Smack-dab in the middle of the story, three of the students asked us to turn it off. In fact, one student stood up, waved his hands, and said something like “Stop it. Stop it. I can’t listen anymore!”

The story was too vivid, too powerful, too disturbing. I’d never seen a response like that to a radio story and it stayed with me — and so has the documentary.

“Witness to an Execution” presents, in un-yielding detail, a minute-by-minute account of lethal injection procedures. The story is told by the prison warden and staff at a jail in Texas.

Stacy Abramson and Dave Isay produced the documentary in 2000. It’s easily one of my “Top 10” best radio documentaries. Have a listen and hear why.

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