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An Investigation of the way Capital Punishment is presented in

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Task: An Investigation of the way Capital Punishment is presented in "Dead Man Walking" and "Let Him Have It". Introduction For our GCSE Coursework we have been watching two films, "Dead Man Walking" and "Let Him Have It". They were both based on true stories. 'Dead Man Walking' was about a man called Matthew Poncelet who supposedly raped and killed a girl. After six years had gone by, he was given the death penalty by lethal injection. 'Let Him Have It' was about a young man, Derek Bentley, who has mental disabilities and suffers from epilepsy. After spending years at home, he goes out and gets dragged into the antics of a sixteen year old Christopher Craig. After the murder of a police officer, Derek gets to death by hanging. I feel that both Matthew Poncelet and Derek Bentley are in the same, sad situation. Matthew has committed a murder and is given the death penalty, where as Derek, although did receive the death penalty, his case was different because it seemed that all of his life was bad luck due to his mental disabilities. ...read more.


During this shot there was a bell sound in the background which interlinks with the end of the film where the clock is ticking away Dereks last few moments of life as if to say, "it's your time now Derek" the bell being the reference of time. He then appears pointing a gun in another scene; this gives us a first impression of him being a "gangster". Chris Craig was the key focus in the classroom scene with him acting as the leader and ultimately showing his obsession with guns. The first time the filmmaker shows us that Derek has very low mental abilities was when the owner of the shed caught him and his friends (not Chris Craig) breaking in. As he shouted loudly at him and shone a flashlight into his eyes, he began to have an epileptic fit. He was sent, because of this, to an approved school for boys in which a gang of other boys surrounded him (the "Chris Craig Gang"). Not long after, he was ordered to leave the school because the teachers classed him as "easy prey" and too vulnerable. ...read more.


Each case had its own way of carrying the death sentence. The most effective was Matthews because flashbacks of the murder sequence were used after each injection was given. The click of the machine which gives the injection is echoed by the gunshots in the flashbacks. These use of sounds help to give the end of the film a sense of balance and justice, it is as if Matthew is been paid back for what he did. Conclusion After viewing both the films in full, I think that Capital Punishment should only be carried out in the most extreme cases like a bomb attack or continuous murder cases. There was definitely a message that came through to me 'DONT NOT get mixed up with any kind of gang because BAD will always come from it'. Capital Punishment was presented in "Let Him Have It" more biased than how "Dead Man Walking" presented it The films were a joy to watch, they were interesting and informative, and I recommend that everyone watches them to understand what really goes on when someone is sentenced to death. GCSE English Media Coursework David Billingham 11W/Y ...read more.

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