Upsetting Ms. Malkin: Why Death Row Inmates Should Have Blogs
Probably, she would not appreciate that I sometimes speak to students as young as those in middle school about the humanity of death row inmates, showing them blown-up images of several of those included in the 2000 Benneton campaign, "We on Death Row" and reading parts of their interviews. Nor would Ms. Malkin appreciate the "thank you" letters I've received from the teachers and students who've listened to my talk and were moved by the experience of viewing the actual faces of those of death row and hearing their words.
Ms. Malkin quips that she doesn't want to hear the condemned talk about their IPods or their razors or cameras. Of course, that's not what they talk about. They talk about their hopes, their fears, their lost dreams, their remorse, their nightmares. They talk about what it's like to know with certainty that the state is going to kill you, how they've messed up their lives, the things they miss, the people they've loved, their religion, their mothers, their children...and more.
Sears Roebuck didn't appreciate the Benneton campaign at the time and pulled the clothing line from their stores. My response to Sears was to call for a boycott of their stores. Crime victims didn't like that Benneton bought billboard space to display the campaign and ultimately, Benneton took them down. The Attorney General of Missouri sued. When the campaign began, all 96 pages of it was on the Internet. Now, you can't find the campaign online anywhere. It is as if it's been censored out of existence. I still have several copies, and this site still carries the press release to the campaign. Here's a portion:
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