there will be no stayComing to VOD today, Tuesday, January 19: THERE WILL BE NO STAY

Patty Dillon’s consideration of the death penalty’s impact on the executioners premiered at Big Sky last year. Other fest screenings have included Cinequest, Omaha, and Hot Springs. FilmBuff now releases the film across VOD platforms.

Dillon’s film focuses on two primary subjects, Terry Bracey and Craig Baxley, former South Carolina correctional officers who were both traumatized by their time as executioners, with deleterious consequences on both their personal and professional lives. Having felt improperly trained to handle the impact of taking other human lives over and over again, Terry and Bax sued the state for damages, but lost. Supplementing their story are profiles of three others with experience with the correctional system’s death penalty process: former warden Dr Allen Ault, who ultimately had to walk away from his position because he couldn’t reconcile the death penalty with his beliefs; Reverend Caroll Pickett, the Huntsville TX death house chaplain-turned-anti-death penalty activist who was previously the subject of Steve James and Peter Gilbert’s affecting AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR; and, least successfully, Bill Pelke, the grandson of a murder victim who eventually tried to reach out to one of his grandmother’s murderers, changing his own stance on capital punishment in the process. Where Dillon succeeds is in exposing the wider impact that state-sanctioned executions have, beyond simply on the perpetrator. Where she stumbles is in her overblown, largely unnecessary narration, and in the lack of focus brought on by expanding beyond Terry and Bax’s stories.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

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