The Chicago Tribune approached us (me and my co-director Peter Gilbert) and said “we think there’s a really interesting documentary to be made about our investigation into the story of Carlos DeLuna, who was convicted of murder and executed by the State of Texas for killing a 24-year-old gas station attendant in1983. He was executed by lethal injection and it looked like he very well may have been innocent."
We thought it was an interesting story and a very important one which is why it has such a prominent place in the movie but we always wanted to make the film about Pastor Pickett. Pastor Pickett had ministered to Carlos and 94 other men before they were put to death, starting with the first man ever to be executed by lethal injection. Pastor Pickett came home at night to record his thoughts about each man on his little tape recorder.
You could make a film about Carlos DeLuna and what happened to him, or you could make a story about Pastor Pickett and his ministering to those men. Our interest in the film from the very beginning was Pastor Pickett. We would not have done this film if it wasn’t his story.
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