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Tulane Prepares for 'Execution'

April 9, 2007

Suzanne Johnson

Does the death penalty represent legal justice or an antiquated and immoral institution? Whatever one's opinion, the death penalty has been one of the most debated legal and moral issues of the past generation.


In a scene from the movie "Execution," the warden makes a visit to the condemned man on death row. The movie's world premiere is tomorrow (April 10) on the Tulane uptown campus.

The death penalty will take the stage at Tulane on Tuesday (April 10) as the Tulane University Criminal Law Society hosts both the world premiere of the gritty film "Execution" and a death penalty forum.

The program, which is free and open to the general public, will take place at 7 p.m. at McAlister Auditorium. Only those over the age of 17 will be admitted due to the graphic nature of the film and discussion. Doors open at 6 p.m. and limited seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Execution," produced and directed by New Orleans native Steven Scaffidi of Ghost Rider Pictures, has captured a lot of advance publicity. It is the story-within-a-story of two filmmakers who are making a documentary about life in prison.

As the story unfolds, they begin focusing their film on one death-row inmate and his pending execution, including the step-by-step process of how the execution is carried out. A subplot parallels the feelings of both the condemned man and the prison warden. The film stars a real death-row inmate, warden and priest playing their respective roles.


The film crew heads into prison for filming of "Execution," produced and directed by New Orleans native Steven Scaffidi. (Photos provided by Ghost Rider Pictures)

Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion and audience question-and-answer session featuring three men who have experienced death row and capital punishment from different perspectives -- William Neal Moore, Donald Cabana and the Rev. Joel LaBauve.

Moore was on Georgia's death row for 16 years after confessing to capital murder and was only seven hours away from execution before a stay was issued. He was freed as a result of the efforts of his victim's family.

Cabana was the longtime warden and director of the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. He also is the author of the book Death at Midnight: Confessions of an Executioner.

LaBauve is the former chaplain to Louisiana's maximum-security penitentiary at Angola and has ministered to hundreds of death-row inmates.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000