Essay on Capital Punishment of the Innocent Edward Earl Johnson

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Capital Punishment of the Innocent Edward Earl Johnson Edward Earl Johnson was put in death row when he was eighteen. A documentary was made when he was twenty-six, called “fourteen days in May.” Edward claimed all along that he was innocent yet he was still executed. The documentary showed he had lived for eight years at the Parchment state penitentiary, Mississippi (death row.) Edward was put to death row for the attempted rape of an elderly white woman and the murder of a white Marshall. The documentary tried to show his innocence, the process of this is what this essay will be about.

The opening scenes from the documentary showed the Parchment State Penitentiary. You saw a large building inside of barbwire (sharp enough to have
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He was then asked a few days later to take a lie detector test in Jackson which was a few miles away from his home town. According to Edward, the white Marshall’s stopped the van on a quiet country road, put a gun to his head and said that if he didn’t confess into the tape recorder, they would say they had shot him because he had tried to escape.
The way Edward said all this made him look innocent. The look on his face was distressed and he was uncomfortable. There were other interviews with Edwards fellow inmates. These interviews made them look gentle, thoughtful, intelligent people who believed in Edward’s innocence. Not one interview was with a person that claimed Edward was guilty except the superintendent. This interview was quite short. It took place in a car, so it was noisy which prevented it from having the atmosphere Edward’s interview had. Pictures of Edward made him out to be a kind, loving person who certainly did not deserve to die. The camera showed him playing chess, which indicated he was intelligent. They showed him playing basketball, which indicated he was fit and sporty. And they showed Edward with his family, which indicated he was a loving man who was devoted to his family.

All the time the documentary was putting a message across which basically said that a whole community was being bullied, that all black people were oppressed and oppression was built into their
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