Ouisianna Play Analysis

2005 Words9 Pages
OUISIANA: A MURDER, A MOVIE AND A WINK By Christopher Buchanan, Associate Producer The first thing Elizabeth Harvey said to me when I walked into her home in Mandeville, Louisiana was, "Of all the people who have come to talk with us about Faith's murder, you're the first one who has gone down there to see where they stabbed her to death." It had been a chilling experience, shrouded in the early February morning fog. In Louisiana less than a day, it was already quite clear to me this story of murder and capital punishment was filled with layers and dimensions, facts and opinions that would need a lot of untangling: First, the grisly murder 16 years ago, then a number of trials, an execution, a book, "Dead Man Walking," and finally a movie of the same name. The movie, based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean, combined the stories of the first…show more content…
Willie and Vaccaro were tried at the same time in the same court house. The jurors in both trials came from the same jury pool. While selecting the jury for Willie's case, each potential juror was asked whether he or she could vote for the death penalty if the defendant was found guilty. One woman said she could not and was excused. A short time later, in the larger, upstairs courtroom where Vaccaro's case was being tried, the same juror was asked the same question. She apparently changed her answer enough to be seated on the jury. Four days later when the guilty verdicts were returned in both cases, the jurors were polled. In the Willie trial, all 12 jurors and two alternates responded "yes," when asked if they wanted the death penalty. In Vaccaro's case, both alternates and 11 of the 12 jurors went for the death penalty. But the juror who was excused from the Willie jury and then seated on Vaccaro's was the lone hold out. Because a death sentence requires a unanimous jury, Joe Vaccaro is alive today and serving multiple life sentences in a federal

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