On this episode of From the Vault, we proffer a sampling of historic recordings in hopes that they will constructively contribute to the debate over the implementation of the death penalty in the United States. Pacifica Radio throughout its history has been at the forefront of capital punishment news and analysis, and as a media institution has become well-respected for its frequency, volume, and depth of coverage. Audio selections today are drawn from the following Pacifica titles:
The Coming Death of Caryl Chessman (1959)
A documentary on the emotionally charged trial of Caryl Chessman and the debate over his May 2, 1960 execution. Produced by Gene Marine.
Meeting of the Minds – Steve Allen (1960)
Actors represent Aristotle, Montaigne, Hegel, Dostoyevsky, Freud, and Darwin in a discussion of the death penalty. Narrated by Steve Allen.
Death House Letters of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (1967)
Lois Adler and Gerald Fritz read selections from the prison correspondence of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were tried, sentenced, and executed for espionage following the Soviet Union’s development of an atomic bomb. Narrated by Eric Nord.
Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter (1978)
Middleweight prizefighter Rubin “Hurricane” Carter shares his experiences in prison and hopes for release in an interview by Lynn Samuels at Trenton State Prison, New Jersey.
Democracy Now!: Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter (1998)
A delegation, led by former boxing champ Rubin Hurricane Carter who served 19 years for a crime he did not commit, travels to Texas to pressure authorities to grant clemency to death row inmate Joseph Stanley Faulder.
The Legal Lynching of Mumia Abu-Jamal (1995)
Actor and activist Mike Farrell introduces Leonard Weinglass, John Carlo Esposito, Marla Gibbs, and Roger Smith, who read from Mumia Abu-Jamal’s prison writings and are followed with a presentation by Ramona Africa, the last adult survivor of the MOVE bombing.
From the Vault is presented through the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, past grants from the Grammy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners.
PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.
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