Assignment: This assignment is based on information from the film, Death by Fire. You may watch the film online: https://video.pbs.org/video/1618590505/. After watching the film, please write a response to the question posted separately. This will count as a Point Earning Opportunity (PEO), as we will not hold class during the week of Thanksgiving.
The video presents the case of Cameron Todd Willingham. This assignment focuses on the contemporary issue of capital punishment (as depicted in Death by Fire) but will require you to apply knowledge from Week 12 readings and lectures. Specifically, I will be evaluating your ability to apply your knowledge of the topics covered in class to the topics presented in the film. In other words, you will need to be able to identify how specific examples from the film relate to (are similar to or different from) concepts from lecture, the textbook and class discussions. Successfully doing this will require that you demonstrate mastery and understanding of the course materials (i.e., you will need to explain in your own words any concepts that would not be understood by any educated reader who is not familiar with the topics at hand).
Please answer each of the following questions in 1-2 pages each or 5-6 pages, total (typed, double-spaced, 11 or 12 point font). You may use your textbook and/or notes but should NOT use outside sources (i.e., from the Internet, other than the links included on this sheet) or work with other students. Please do not use direct quotations from the book or supplemental links but rather paraphrase ideas in your own words.
1. Summarize the major facts of Cameron Todd Willingham�s case, as presented in film. These observations are the �data� that you will need to explain in your essay. Limit this answer to 1 page (double-spaced).
Summarize the major arguments made by proponents of capital punishment (Hint: you will need to define in your own words the 8 bulleted points discussed in lecture). Are there any parallels between these concepts and the film? Provide examples from the film (e.g., the prosecution�s case) that were used in favor of executing Willingham.
Summarize the major arguments made by opponents of capital punishment (Hint: you will need to define in your own words the 4 bulleted points discussed in lecture). Are there any parallels between these concepts and the film? Provide examples from the film (e.g., the defense�s case) that were used to oppose Willingham�s execution.
Summarize the causes of wrongful conviction and execution (Hint: you will need to define in your own words the 7 bulleted points discussed in lecture). Was Cameron Todd Willingham wrongfully executed? Come to your own conclusion and develop an argument based on the facts of case. In other words, make case arguing why or why not using specific concepts from lecture and examples from the film.
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