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Inside Death Row with Trevor McDonald

Inside Death Row with Trevor McDonald

Thu Jan 17, 9-10pm, ITV1

By Rebecca Taylor
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The lives of American Death Row inmates continue to compel audiences, yet the myriad of films and documentaries that have covered the subject over the years never seem to add much to our understanding of the issue. While Trevor McDonald's two-parter doesn’t break much new ground, it does offers an unusually intimate portrait of the men awaiting death at a top security prison – in this case, Indiana State. The small details resonate the most: the inmate who has killed his wife and child, but keeps his cell spotlessly clean; or the 38-year old who has been awaiting death since he first arrived at the prison aged 15, and who keeps books about Kabbalah and metaphysics on his shelves; and the barber, himself an inmate (although not on a death sentence), who refuses to cut the hair of those on the Row because he can't bear to risk friendship with someone he knows might not be alive for their next trim. McDonald remains cool and non-judgemental (although not without empathy), pondering the notion of freedom for someone whose whole life will be lived behind bars – or ended at any moment.

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