The Execution of Wanda Jean (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Execution of Wanda Jean (2002)




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Movie Info

Liz Garbus (The Farm: Angola, USA) directed this documentary that takes a close look at death row inmate Wanda Jean Allen. What sets this film apart from the average examination of a death row appeal is that the convicted killer is a lesbian African-American. If the state of Oklahoma goes through with the sentence, she will become the first black woman to be killed by the state in almost a half century. Garbus interviews both Allen's legal team, as well as the parents of the victim. Since Allen certainly committed the act she has been convicted of, the legal drama hangs on if new evidence concerning Allen's mental state will sway the clemency board. This film was screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.


Critic Reviews for The Execution of Wanda Jean

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

Compelling but self-undermining documentary.

September 12, 2002 | Rating: 3/4

Offers an unusual opportunity to observe the inequities in the death penalty, not just the inherent immorality but also the haphazard administration of it and public misperception of how the whole thing works.

September 5, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

As Allen's execution date closes in, the documentary gives an especially poignant portrait of her friendship with the never flagging legal investigator David Presson.

September 3, 2002 | Full Review…

Gripping documentary...

November 25, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

You will emerge with a clearer view of how the gears of justice grind on and the death report comes to share airtime alongside the farm report.

March 10, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A gripping documentary.

December 8, 2002 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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