The Execution of Wanda Jean (2002)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Law & Crime, Biography, Social Issues, Gender Issues, Psychology, Race & Ethnicity  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Liz Garbus (The Farm: Angola, USA) directed this documentary that takes a close look at death row inmate Wanda Jean Allen. What sets this film apart from the average examination of a death row appeal is that the convicted killer is a lesbian African-American. If the state of Oklahoma goes through with the sentence, she will become the first black woman to be killed by the state in almost a half century. Garbus interviews both Allen's legal team, as well as the parents of the victim. Since Allen certainly committed the act she has been convicted of, the legal drama hangs on if new evidence concerning Allen's mental state will sway the clemency board. This film was screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.

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Keywords

execution, controversy, criminal-justice, death-row, inmate, moral-conflict, Black [race], legal-system, lesbianism, mental-health, poverty