Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Movie. Madness. Mohr.

My name is Katie Mohr and I am the newest addition to the TCASK state office. I recently graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English Writing and Psychology. I have relocated to Nashville and committed myself to a year of service with the Young Adult Volunteer Program sponsored by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) which placed me in the TCASK office. Social justice has always been a part of my life and I am excited to see, learn, and help make change happen in TN one day at a time.
My first two days with TCASK were madness. As you know the TN Death Penalty Study Committee met on Monday and Tuesday. Basically, Stacy and I sat through hours of meetings and I recieved one of the most intense crash courses on the Tennessee legal system and the injustices within that system concerning the Death Penalty. After the meetings we made our way over to the Belcourt Theater for the presentation of "Loved Lived on Death Row".
The film was a great success. Nearly 150 people attended the the screening and stayed after the film to ask questions to the film's director, Linda Booker.
The movie tells the story of the Syriani family. The father, Elias, killed his wife and was sentenced to NC's death row while his four young children, orphaned and angry moved to Chicago. About 14 years later the kids decided to visit their father on death row and through their visitations, began a journey of forgiveness. The Syriani children began a fight against the death penalty in order to rebuild their family but Elias was executed by the state in 2006. From my perspective, Booker did a fantastic job intertwining many social issues including the death penalty, domestic violence, and man's ability to forgive. The movie prompted great discussion on these issues and I, and I hope many others, walked away with a new education and a more clear perspective on capital punishment.
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