"14 Days in May" - A Biased Report
"14 Days in May" is a documentary about capital punishment. Capital punishment is the most severe form of justice possible; it is the punishment of execution. This punishment exists mainly because it is a huge deterrent against 'would be' criminals. Some countries do not deploy this because it is thought to be inhumane to take somebody's life away regardless of any reason. If somebody is convicted and sentenced to 'life' when they were innocent, it would be the biggest mistake that could ever be made. In many people's view this would be an injustice and also an error that could never be repaid. This documentary is about capital punishment and is attempting to convince us it is wrong.
The documentary is following the last two weeks of the life of a man on death row. The man was black and called Edward Earl Johnson who was convicted of murdering a white police officer and raping a white female. This documentary is mostly set in The Mississippi State prison where Johnson is awaiting his fate. Ironically the place where Johnson was living (Mississippi) was once a place where black people were slave driven by whites and were never considered to be equals. The fact that Johnson allegedly murdered a white police officer and raped a white female was a major factor against his plea for innocence. Looking at Johnson's stay in the prison he seemed to be treated very well and was highly thought of by black and even white prison guards. However, outside the prison, within the justice system there were clear forms of racism occurring. I think that Johnson was under a lot of scrutiny because he was black rather than because of whom he really was.
In my opinion "14 Days in May" was a biased version of the facts surrounding Edward Earl Johnson and capital punishment. I thought that the content we viewed throughout this documentary was selective and didn't portray both sides of the story. The man they chose to follow throughout the documentary (Johnson) was an intellectual looking, a well spoken man who many of us could associate with and hence feel remorse for, and also a devoted family man. The image that is created because of these factors is that Johnson is a good person unlike our stereotype impression of a criminal. As this man seemed to be very kind and dignified, all the prison guards (that were interviewed) and his fellow inmates were all fond of him. This programme showed many scenes of Johnson with his family where he embraced them and seemed to be very fond of them and they seemed fond of him. He also sang songs with them and engaged in an emotional last meal with them. As with Johnson, all his family members appeared and spoke like dignified people. In my opinion, his family members seemed to be attempting to hide their grief when they were in contact with Johnson in an attempt to make him feel less distraught. It appeared as though all of Johnson's family members thought he was innocent and felt that he shouldn't be on death row.