FEATURED POST

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Image
The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Queensland considered as film set of new movie on faith journey of executed Bali Nine trafficker Andrew Chan

Andrew Chan (left) with Myuran Sukumaran
Andrew Chan (left) with Myuran Sukumaran
AN Australian producer is planning to use Queensland as a location to shoot a movie about the Bali Nine, focusing on the hidden faith journey of one of the drug traffickers who was executed.

“Our story is based around the remarkable transformation of Andrew Chan and the flow-on effect of his faith within the prison and to those who visited,” independent film producer Ben Field, who has previously worked as a director on Home and Away, said.

Now in pre-production and set to begin shooting – including in far north Queensland – early next year, Finding Mercy aims to show Chan’s personal transformation and rehabilitation during his 10-year incarceration in a Bali prison up until his execution in 2015.

Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were in their early twenties as they looked for an “easy payday” by embarking on the ill-fated plan, with seven others, to smuggle eight kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia.

They were caught, found guilty and sentenced to death.

The other Bali Nine members remain in jail on life sentences, but there are renewed efforts by leading Australian Catholic lawyer Colin McDonald QC to return them to Australia.

“The journey of the Bali Nine was widely publicised in international papers, but our aim with this film is to capture the part of the story that hasn’t been told,” Mr Field said.

“This film is a story about mercy and second chances. ‘Can people change?’ ‘And, if so, will we allow them the opportunity to do so?’”

Mr Field said Chan grew up in a Chinese migrant family and was influenced by a Salvation Army family, the Sopers, who lived in his neighbourhood.

“He grew up with faith around him,” he said.

“He obviously chose to live life his own way and ended up where he did. But he always had an understanding of God, but wasn’t living for Him.

“When he hit rock bottom in the prison he tells in an unreleased video, which we have, of a moment of crying out to God for help.”

Mr Field said the next day Luke Soper and his brother, who Chan had grown up with, arrived in prison and gave him a Bible.

“It was a slow and sometimes frustrating journey for him coming to read and understand,” Mr Field said.

“In his testimony he talks about always praying to God for freedom, and in his mind freedom was being released, starting a family, starting afresh.

“He believes God spoke to him in the prison and said ‘I have set you free’ and it was at that moment that he felt true freedom within, the power of Jesus.”

Chan’s actions in prison were remarkable.

He started to rebuild church life within the prison, helped recovering drug addicts, and inmates with AIDS deprived of medicines and relying on outside help.

“When we are doing our production meetings I say that, prior to being arrested, Andrew really was the godfather, who, in prison became the good father to many people in need,” Mr Field said.

“So this is the remarkable journey of Andrew Chan understanding faith and who God was in his life and then understanding that he had true freedom and a purpose to carry out inside, even though he was facing the death penalty.”

Mr Field said the story of Chan and Sukumaran had already touched many hearts.

“In the months leading up to their execution, politicians, celebrities and business tycoons from Australia and around the globe appealed for clemency,” he said.

“Then, in the final 72 hours before the shots were fired, thousands joined candlelight vigils across Australia.

“In their final hours, the pair hugged and forgave their Indonesian jailers, turning a brutal execution into a sacred and holy moment.”

Finding Mercy is expected to use some shooting locations in far north Queensland similar to tropical settings in Indonesia where the seven of the Bali Nine remain in prison.

The film has an $8 million budget and is aimed at international cinema release.

Source: Catholic Leader, Mark Bowling, June 20, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Comments

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Iran: Three Hand Amputations, Four Hangings Carried Out in Qom

Iran: Woman Asylum Seeker Lashed 80 Times After Being Deported From Norway

Iran: Three executions carried out, two in front of large crowds

Gambia: President Barrow Signs Abolition Of Death Penalty Treaty

Texas Child Killer John Battaglia Found Competent for Execution

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Two Myanmar migrants make final appeal in Koh Tao murder case

Seventeen Hanged in Various Iranian Prisons, One in Public

Kenya: Man to hang for stealing toothpaste and toothbrush

Judge warns death row inmate to keep Nevada's execution manual secret