“The focus of this series though is not on the crime...”
May 9, 2016 1:29 PM   Subscribe

Inside Death Row: [New York Times] Between 2014 and 2015, the editorial cartoonist Patrick Chappatte and his wife, the journalist Anne-Frédérique Widmann, invited death-row inmates in the United States to draw their personal experiences in prison. Last year, the couple curated the drawings in an art and documentation exhibition in Los Angeles called “Windows on Death Row.” The prisoners’ stories became the basis of this five-part graphic journalism series.

As part of their reporting for the series, the couple talked to more than 20 death-row inmates and interviewed a dozen of them in four maximum-security prisons around the country. The prison experiences featured here were told in person to Mr. Chappatte and Ms. Widmann, and shed light on the complexity of American notions of justice, guilt and punishment. Most of the people have committed terrible crimes. The focus of this series though is not on the crime, but on what happens after.

- The Last Phone Call
- How to Keep Your Sanity in Solitary
- Memories of Execution Day
- How to Get On Death Row Without Firing A Bullet
- When Art & Love Save An Innocent
posted by Fizz (6 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
These are deeply sad. Thank you for the post.
posted by schroedinger at 2:30 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's a link to the original exhibition which shows the art of the inmates.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:45 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by inconsequentialist at 3:16 PM on May 9, 2016

Crime is deeply sad. That is the one thing that movies, television and novels never quite seem to get across. Crimes--the people who commit them, the impact of the crimes (on everyone connected to it); trials; prison (and the effects of imprisonment on the criminals and on the people who loved them and on the victims or their families); post-release and re-integration (again, not just for the former inmate, but also for victims, and all families)--is just deeply, dreadfully, unremittingly sad.

I don't know how anyone comes out of working in the churn that is the American justice system still believing anyone in it is succeeding at anything other than creating misery out of misery.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:21 PM on May 9, 2016 [7 favorites]

On a side-note: Patrick Chappatte's illustration style reminds me of Guy Delisle's Pyongyang.
posted by Fizz at 5:29 PM on May 9, 2016

How to Get On Death Row Without Firing A Bullet

...Jesus. I know Pine Bluff. I grew up in Pine Bluff. The furniture store in the "Deserted streets" panel? My parents bought their furniture there back around 1980.

I haven't been back in almost twenty years. It was bad then, but I can't believe how much worse it's gotten.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:24 AM on May 10, 2016

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