What’s it like to serve on a capital jury?
Lindy Lou, a woman from rural Mississippi, always thought she could easily give the death penalty. Then she sat on a jury that handed down a death sentence to a man convicted in a double homicide. 20 years later, in the new documentary film Lindy Lou, Juror Number 2, Lindy travels through Mississippi and interviews 11 jurors alongside whom she sentenced a man to death. This film takes a nuanced look at the issue of capital punishment and the impacts it has on jurors.
Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty will host a statewide screening tour of Lindy Lou, Juror Number 2 beginning August 31. These showings are presented by Good Pitch Local in a partnership with MADP, Equal Justice USA, Working Films, and local organizations throughout the state.
Hosts of the screening tour hope the events sparks conversation about the death penalty and its consequences on jurors involved. In the state of Missouri, the death penalty is broken for many reasons, including but not limited to racial injustice, disparities in representation and sentencing, prosecutorial misconduct, and waning public support. The appeals process often devastates victims’ families, who must endure up to 15 years of appeals.
Beyond these impacts, what is often overlooked are the impact capital trials can have on jurors. Lindy’s story is one of many examples. Missouri resident Andy Dazey served as jury foreman during the capital murder trial of David Barnett in 1997. The jury delivered the death sentence to David Barnett and according to Andy, “I have never failed to remember the severity of the situation we were put through. You can’t go through it and not be impacted. You always think back and reflect on the decision. You can’t be a compassionate human being if you didn’t always think about it.”
This film challenges the sense that many Missourians have – that the death penalty is an abstract, distant concept unlikely to personally affect us. “Every citizen in Missouri faces the possibility of participating on a capital jury, and it is a part of civic education to understand the full ramifications of this process,” said Staci Pratt, Executive Director of MADP. “Every death sentence has a lasting human cost and impacts every individual in its proximity, including jurors. Like Lindy, many of us as citizens may be called to fulfill our jury duty. We each have another duty beyond this one – a duty to consider the realities of handing down a death sentence both for ourselves and for our communities.”
The full schedule of film showings is below. Each screening will be followed with a discussion and Q&A with local experts on the issue. The main subject of the film, Lindy Lou, will join audiences at some of the screenings to share more of her story. Good Pitch Local is an initiative devised by Doc Society. All screenings are free and open to the public. No tickets are needed, as seating will be given on a first come, first serve basis.
Thursday August 31st at 7pm – Jefferson City Capitol City Cinema (26 E High St. Jefferson City, MO 65101) RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/324321777990917 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Equal Justice USA
Wednesday, September 6th at 7pm – Kansas City Screenland Armour Theatre (408 Armour Rd. North Kansas City, MO 64116) RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/111004996240910 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Equal Justice USA.
Thursday, September 7th at 7pm – St. Louis The Tivoli Theatre, Auditorium No. 3 (6350 Delmar Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63130_ RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/2013808195513854 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Equal Justice USA, CURE, Preachers And Community (PAC), Second Chance Freedom Foundation, St. Louis Social Justice Committee of the General Baptist State Convention, WILPF, World Community Center, and Veterans for Peace – St. Louis chapter.
Tuesday, September 12th at 6:30pm (reception at 6pm) – St. Joseph Missouri Western State University – Kemper Recital Hall/Spratt 101 (4525 Downs Dr. St. Joseph, MO 64507) RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/470544993307494 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Equal Justice USA, and Legal Studies Association of Missouri Western State University.
Wednesday, September 13th at 7pm – Kansas City Park Hill High School (7701 NW Barry Rd. Kansas City, MO 64153) RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/116500442341565 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Equal Justice USA
Thursday, September 14th at 3pm – Parkville Park University (8700 Northwest River Park Dr. Parkville, MO 64152) – Learn more here. RSVP at: https://www.facebook.com/events/162200037687069 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Equal Justice USA
Thursday, September 14th at 7pm – Platte City Shiloh Springs Golf Course (14750 Fairway Ln. Platte City, MO 64079) RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/141209763139265 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Equal Justice USA
Friday, September 15th at 7pm – Platte Woods Platte Woods United Methodist Church (7310 NW Prairie View Rd. Platte Woods, MO 64151) RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/132902763985184 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Equal Justice USA, and Platte Woods UMC.
Tuesday September 19th at 6:30pm – Kansas City Boardwalk Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library (8656 N Ambassador Dr. Kansas City, MO 64154) RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/965073460301960 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Equal Justice USA.
Tuesday, September 19th at 7pm – Springfield Moxie Cinema (305 S Campbell Ave #101 Springfield, MO 65806) RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/894637644045584 Hosted by: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Equal Justice USA