Hey blog community! Things have been busy here at Arts Engine. This year has been a great year for Deadline. The film was broadcast on The Sundance Channel, had screenings at Yale University, Colby College and Brown University and has some upcoming January air dates on Link TV. Also, Katy was asked to go to Bedford Hills Maximum Security Correctional Facility, a women's prison in upstate New York, to talk about Deadline and social justice media. It will be some time in April.
Our latest film, Arctic Son is doing the festival run and will be broadcast sometime in 2007. We also have been working on some exciting new films about election reform and a punk band in Chicago. You'll be hearing more about them soon!
We have taken the blog out of retirement because there has been a lot happening around the death penalty lately. We wanted to share it with you. It seems that the the number of death sentences has dropped to its lowest level in decades. This has a lot to do with the publicity surrounding wrongful conviction cases. We also know for a fact that it has a lot to do with the hard work of many of our partners.
Also, a legislative commission recommended on Tuesday that New Jersey become the first state to abolish the death penalty since states began reinstating their capital punishment laws 35 years ago. Its report found â€śno compelling evidenceâ€? that capital punishment serves a legitimate purpose, and increasing evidence that it â€śis inconsistent with evolving standards of decency.â€?
And one other news item that we never saw coming: Florida halts the death penalty:
Gov. Jeb Bush yesterday suspended all executions in Florida, citing a troubled execution on Wednesday and appointing a commission to consider the humanity and constitutionality of lethal injections.
Gov. Jeb Bush is awaiting a commissionâ€™s report in March.
Hours later, a federal judge ruled that the lethal injection system in California violated the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
â€śToday has been the most significant day in the history of the death penalty in America in many years,â€? said Jamie Fellner, director of United States programs for Human Rights Watch. â€śThese developments show that the current lethal-injection protocols pose an unacceptable risk of cruelty.
All excerpts are from our friends at The New York Times.
If you want to get the latest updates on the death penalty, please check out our partner's website, The Death Penalty Information Center and join their mailing list. They had a great article about the recent declaration by The Federal Court that lethal injections in California are inconstitutional.
Posted on December 19, 2006 at 10:19 AM
The directorâ€™s cut of DEADLINE will be shown on The Sundance Channel throughout the month of January at the following times:
**PREMIERE** Monday 01.09.06 at 09:00 PM
Thursday 01.19.06 at 09:45 AM
Thursday 01.19.06 at 05:30 AM
Tuesday 01.31.06 at 10:00 AM
Since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, DEADLINE has been nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy Award and awarded numerous awards, including the Thurgood Marshall Journalism Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism and the 2005 Cine Golden Eagle Special Jury Award.
The broadcast date marks nearly three years since George Ryan, the Republican governor of Illinois, decided to commute the death sentences of 167 inmates on Illinoisâ€™ death row. It also comes on the heels of California Governor Schwarzenegger's highly-contested December execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams. DEADLINE not only makes a powerful statement about our nationâ€™s capital punishment system, but it also serves as a valuable example of the staying power of investigative documentary filmmaking today.
There is some exciting new content on the site that we want to call attention to. We have excerpts from New York state's hearings on the death penalty. We also have made a short video that gives an update on what Lawrence Hayes has been up to since the film and his feelings on the parole system. These videos are included in the "In The Spotlight" section of the home page.
It has taken us a while to get this content together and we want to thank our technology team (especially Jean), Sam for directing and editing one of the videos and Kate for editing the hearings videos. Our hope for this new content is to extend the debate around the death penalty. We hope you enjoy them!
The NY Times posted this article:
For years the quaint Austrian town of Graz trumpeted its special relationship with its outsize native son, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Born in a village nearby and schooled in Graz, Mr. Schwarzenegger was an honorary citizen and holder of the town's Ring of Honor. Most conspicuously, the local sports stadium was named after him.
But early on Monday, under cover of darkness, his name was removed from the arena in a sort of uncontested divorce between the California governor and the town council, which had been horrified that he rejected pleas to spare the life of Stanley Tookie Williams, former leader of the Crips gang, who was executed by the state of California two weeks ago.
This quote is from an Editorial in The New York Times:
When a police officer dies in the line of duty, there is a natural desire to look for ways to prevent such tragedies in the future. Gov. George Pataki responded to the fatal shooting of Officer Dillon Stewart this week with a call for reinstating the death penalty. That is unlikely to save the lives of officers who find themselves facing violent suspects. Most potential cop killers are not the kind of people likely to consider the consequences of their worst impulses. The allegations about the man accused of killing Officer Stewart - that he was a man already wanted by the authorities who sped through a traffic light while carrying 53 bags of marijuana - provide a perfect description of a person who would not be prudent enough to resist grabbing a handy gun.
The legislature will vote this Wednesday. Take action to let Pataki know how you feel.
Characters from the film:
Nominated for a 2004 Emmy Award
Premiered at The 2004 Sundance Film Festival
Winner of The 2005 Cine Golden Eagle Special Jury Award
Winner of The 2005 National Council on Crime and Deliquency PASS AWARD
Winner, Best Documentary, Audience Award and Best Directing, 2004 Black Point Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Best Feature Documentary, The 2004 Nashville Film Festival
Act now to put a moratorium on the death penalty in these key states:
"Deadline, an excellent documentary...chronicling the astonishingly flawed criminal justice system in Illinois." — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
"The film is an example of social activism at its best; it's not only enlightening, but it's an engrossing story that a smart television audience should embrace." — James Greenberg, The Hollywood Reporter
"It gives you a chance to ruminate on some crucial questions of human error, justice and life-and-death." — Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
Premiered at The 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Winner, Cine Gold Eagle Award
Winner, Best Documentary, Audience Award and Best Directing, Black Point Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Best Feature Documentary, The Nashville Film Festival
Winner, Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, The Ninth Annual Thurgood Marshall Journalism Award