About the Campaign
Over the last few years, executions have been on the decline in the U.S., and the death penalty system has been fraught with pragmatic, fiscal, and constitutional problems. More and more states are re-evaluating their use of the death penalty or abandoning it altogether: 19 states have repealed it (plus the District of Columbia!), 4 have a moratorium in place, and 8 more haven’t carried out an execution in more than 10 years. This fall voters in California and Nebraska will go to the polls with the chance to end the death penalty in their states.
Even with all of this decline, the U.S. is still one of the highest executing nations in the world.
Whether you support the death penalty or not, there can be no doubt that it is riddled with problems. And when a system leads to the taking of a life, the stakes are simply too high for error.
Using films, visuals, and the stories of exonerees, victim’s families, and law enforcement, #DeathPenaltyFail is committed to educating people about the social, emotional, and financial burdens of the death penalty. We look to intensify the social conversation and increase the number of active death penalty repeal supporters.
Now is the time to think again about the death penalty.
About the Films – Sundog Pictures
Sundog Pictures believes in telling stories that matter, bringing new audiences to big issues, and starting important conversations, both online and in local communities. #DeathPenaltyFail is no exception to this and a project that the production company is particularly proud of.
During production, Sundog’s core ambition was to shed light on the hard facts surrounding the death penalty and bring them to life in a way that felt fresh and compelling without straying into the sensational, and without emotionally manipulating our audience. The issue of the death penalty is complex and layered. No single short film could do justice to the full spectrum of debate and information. Therefore, using various styles of storytelling, we produced a number videos for the campaign: an animated comedy, a testimony driven documentary, and a visceral reconstruction of what actually happens in an execution room.
A Really Quick and Occasionally Bloody Look at the Death Penalty is a fast paced animation that brings together the facts and statistics associated with the death penalty to life; A Conservative Concern is a Texas-based documentary that is driven by conservative voices, unlike liberal campaigners that we are more used to hearing from on this issue; and finally, with A Lethal Injection we reconstructed a real-time execution by lethal injection to highlight some of the very specific issues relating to the U.S.’s preferred execution method.*
Talking about the death penalty is a taboo. To that end, we hope that the content, surrounding output on social media and specially hosted screenings allow for a fresh conversation to open up around the death penalty.
Anyone should be able to watch our videos and take something valuable from them, no matter what your background, demographic, or political persuasion and no matter what your current stance is on the death penalty.
We hope to inspire activism within our audience, and we ask that you share the videos and join the conversation with #DeathPenaltyFail. If you’d like to learn more and make further commitments to the campaign, you can sign up HERE.
*This video is a dramatized execution and features fictional characters.
Who Are We?
#DeathPenaltyFail is a network of organisations that are united in efforts to repeal the Death Penalty:
Virgin Unite is the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group and the Branson family. We unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world. In line with our objective to advance human rights where it relates to the persons affected by death penalty, Virgin Unite has collaborated with EJUSA to develop the #DeathPenaltyFail campaign and digital platform, aiming to correct widely held misperceptions about the death penalty and educate the public on the issue.
EJUSA is a national organization working to transform the justice system from one that harms to one that heals. We work state by state and city by city to change the conversation, build bridges across disparate constituencies, and strengthen local campaigns so they can win and have national impact.
EJUSA will help the #DeathPenaltyFail audience find an active role in the movement to end the death penalty.
SD Squared is a Global Technology Services Provider that lets entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life, working with a focus on Cloud Computing, Managed Services and onDemand Engineering Teams. Social Impact and making the world a better place is a core part of their DNA. They’ve given 15% of their company to charity, and also started a program that gifts up to 20% of their team’s time to help charities and NGOs engage and build the necessary technology for their causes.