CNN’s original series “Death Row Stories” is set to return to the news channel next Sunday, July 13, with three new episodes debuting on successive Sundays.
Executive produced by Jigsaw Production’s Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side,” “The Armstrong Lie”) and Sundance Production’s Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn, the CNN series focuses on inmates facing the death penalty and the legal process of defending them and attempting to ensure that justice prevails.
The new episodes, each narrated by Susan Sarandon, explore three cases from the 1980s and 1990s, two involving double murders and one involving a mass murder in a Chuck E. Cheese in Colorado. Several of the defendants or prosecutors involved in the case are interviewed for the first time, and in the Colorado-centered episode, Gov. John Hickenlooper as well as former Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr. and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Rep. Tom Tancredo are all interviewed.
The series’s first five installments premiered in March and will be re-aired after the three new episodes. The March airings garnered CNN the top spot in the cable news demographic, according to Nielsen, and at the time, Gibney, Redford and Sarandon penned an opinion piece in Salon calling on Americans to reflect on the “systemic problems” of the American justice system.
Whether Democratic or Republican, legislators can no longer ignore the fatal flaw in the justice system. At a minimum, we must insist that they find a way to hold prosecutors accountable for misconduct that can – if intentional — amount to premeditated murder. More broadly, we should insist that lawmakers face the most harrowing question from all of our death row stories: if the institution of capital punishment – with consequences so final and irreversible — can never be a perfect instrument of criminal justice, is the institution itself a criminal injustice?
CNN will air the three new “Death Row Stories” episodes at 10:00 pm and 1:00 am Eastern. They will also be available as a simulcast through CNN’s iPad app, as well as on CNN’s website and other mobile applications.
Below, take a look at a clip from one of the first five episodes, in which two appellate lawyers discuss meeting death row inmate John Thompson for the first time.