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No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

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Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

"The Iron Red Door", freely adapted from Hugo's novel The Last Day of a Condemned Man

The Iron Red Door is the passage through which the bodies of executed prisoners get out of Thailand's infamous prison “Bang Kwang.”

Every time this door opens one more human being has been killed. It doesn't matter if he was innocent or guilty; it doesn’t matter if he was a poor western immigrant doing art in an Asian metropolis. It only matters that they kill someone.

The Red Iron Door is freely adapted from Victor Hugo's novel The Last Day of a Condemned Man, one of the world's most powerful manifest against the death penalty, and incorporates excerpts from Pier Paolo Pasolini's work. The film is shot in Thailand and is about the death penalty in Asia.

Synopsis

It is the day before the execution of Pietro, an Italian artist accused of murdering Rak, a mysterious Thai woman.

Pietro and his wife Nee, who are trying to survive in Bangkok producing artistic theater plays, met Rak during one of their shows.

Rak discovered the beauty of stage-acting and decided to leave her bright future and family to become an actress. But her happy free life abruptly came to an end. During a performance on a boat, the Thai girl vanished mysteriously.

Pietro, an easy target for the prosecution, is sentenced to death. 

Roland, an Interpol officer vaguely acquainted with Pietro, visits the condemned on death row shortly before his execution. Roland has doubts about Pietro's guilt and decides to spend the last 24 hours with Pietro, to find out the truth. 

The whole story becomes a long poetic narration between the present grayness of the cell and the colorful flashbacks of the past, a long travel through modernity and ancient times, fights for power, fights for freedom, death, theater and the hazards of a fascinating yet dangerous city.

The backdrop is Bangkok, a dazzling city, a city made sick by superficiality and capitalism, a city, full of contradictions, in a climate of civil war.

The Iron Red Door
  • Executive Producer: Ulf Pilblad and Patchanee Poonthong
  • Director: Maurizio Mistretta
  • Cast: Maurizio Mistretta, Ulf Pilblad and Patchanee Poonthong
  • Country of shooting: Thailand
  • Production date: September 2015
  • Intent to release: September 2016
  • Duration: 90 -100 minutes

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