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The Devil and the Death Penalty (2012)

This documentary recounts the dysfunctional state of the death penalty in the state of California by revisiting the crimes, arrest, trial and appeals of Lawrence Bittaker, a convicted ... See full summary »

Director:

Philip Gibbons

Writer:

Philip Gibbons
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lawrence Bittaker ... Himself (archive footage)
Erwin Chemerinsky ... Himself
Chuck Dichtl Chuck Dichtl ... Himself
Terry Dichtl Terry Dichtl ... Herself
Philip Gibbons Philip Gibbons ... (voice)
Steve Kay Steve Kay ... Himself
Dolores Ledford Dolores Ledford ... Herself (voice)
Roy Norris Roy Norris ... Himself (archive footage)
Alaine Wayne ... Ruth Torres (voice)
Beulah Wycoff Beulah Wycoff ... (voice)
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Storyline

This documentary recounts the dysfunctional state of the death penalty in the state of California by revisiting the crimes, arrest, trial and appeals of Lawrence Bittaker, a convicted serial killer who has been on death row at San Quentin since 1981. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

death penalty | serial killer | See All (2) »


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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 2012 (USA) See more »

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Color:

Color
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Soundtracks

Hold On
by Ian Gomm
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User Reviews

 
The Devil And The Death Penalty
23 May 2016 | by a_baronSee all my reviews

In 1979, Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered five teenage girls in California. Although Norris was already a convicted rapist when they first met, Bittaker is by far the worst of the two. Norris was offered a plea - testify against Bittaker in return for the death penalty being taken off the table. He accepted and did. Bittaker was sentenced to death in 1981; three decades on when this film was made, he had still not been executed. The man behind it, Philip Gibbons, wanted to know why. Herein he finds out, and tells the viewer.

"The Devil And The Death Penalty" includes much archive video but also a long interview with the district attorney who prosecuted Bittaker; Steve Kay worked on the Tate-LaBiancha case along with Vincent Bugliosi, but he says this was worse than Manson, the worst ever. If you watch it all the way through, you may well agree with that, so - trigger warning - if you are of a sensitive disposition, don't.

Although the death penalty has long been out of fashion, there is a place for it as long as men like Bittaker walk the Earth, a sentiment shared by Kay, and doubtless by the families of Norris and Bittaker's young victims.


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