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2009 - ASC Annual Meeting Words: 208 words || 
1. McKinzey, Shelby. "In Plain Sight: Capital Punishment on Film" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 04, 2009 <Not Available>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Over the past seventy years, dozens of films have been made in which capital punishment is a major theme. Some of these films focus on the investigation and prosecution processes, while others focus on the execution and its aftermath. Several studies have been done examining these films. However, they tend to focus on two or three films in a particular decade. This study seeks to examine the depiction of the death penalty in film over the past seventy years. The analysis will focus on how the various actors in the process (lawyers, defendants, victims, guards, etc.), as well as the processes themselves, are depicted. Finally, the paper analyzes how trends in death penalty films correspond or do not correspond to trends in the way the death penalty is practiced over time. For instance, do films produced at times of high public support for the death penalty show a corresponding support for the death penalty? Do major issues addressed by the Supreme Court, such as the race of the defendant, innocence, legal representation, or arbitrariness play a role in these films? What can capital punishment films tell us about the operation of the death penalty in the United States over time?

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