Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2009-01-28

Samford's Cumberland School of Law will host a screening of the film, "At the Death House Door," Thursday, Jan. 29, at 3:30 p.m. in the moot courtroom of Robinson law building. The public is invited free of charge.

The showing of the 2008 documentary is co-sponsored with the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

The 95-minute film is a personal look at the death penalty in the State of Texas through the eyes of Rev. Carroll Pickett, who served 16 years as death house chaplain at the "Walls" prison unit in Huntsville, Texas. During his career, Pickett presided at 95 executions, including the first-ever lethal injection. After each execution, Pickett recorded an audiotape account of his trip to the death chamber.

Rev. Pickett will attend Thursday's showing, and will participate in a follow-up panel discussion moderated by Birmingham attorney Richard Jaffe. The panel will also include attorneys Richard Keith and John Mays.

"At the Death House Door" is from award-winning directors Steve James ("Hoop Dreams") and Peter Gilbert ("Vietnam, Long Time Coming). It won the inspiration award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and best documentary feature award at the Atlanta Film Festival.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.