This is a 19 minute video tape produced by the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project. The film places the legal imposition of the death penalty in the US in the historical context of American slavery and its legacy. The video spotlights the slave codes, which explicitly mandated different punishments for black and white people, and reviews research gathered in the 1980's that documents the use of the death penalty almost exclusively to punish those whose victims are white. The video's focus is to argue for the abolishment of the death penalty in pursuit of racial equality. The film's main shortcoming is it does not explore the class issue of the death penalty, namely that only poor people, regardless of race, are the people who get executed. Aside from that the film is very well produced and a useful educational tool. It costs only $20, postage paid. Order from: ACLU Dept. L, PO Box 794, Medford, NY 11763.
Visiting in Prison
This is 20 minute video produced by Prisoner Visitation and Support, a national interfaith visitation program. Filmed in five federal prisons (Danbury, CT; Leavenworth, KS; Lompoc, CA; Memphis, TN; and Terminal Island, CA) and one military prison (US Disciplinary Barracks in Ft. Leavenworth, KS), the video includes interviews with prisoners and the volunteers who visit them. The video educates people about prison and breaks down prison stereotypes. The video costs only $10. Order from: PVS, 1501 Cherry St. Philadelphia, PA, 19102. Call: (215) 241-7117.
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