Hannah Rosenberg/Sun Photography Editor

The free showing will take place on Nov. 1 at the Cornell Cinema theater in Willard Straight Hall.

October 28, 2021

Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide to Host Documentary Screening at Cornell Cinema

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Cornell Cinema will be screening The State of Texas vs. Melissa, a film about a woman on death row who is facing execution. The free screening will take place Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. and is sponsored by the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide.

The center has advocated for incarcerated individuals facing the death penalty for over eight decades and publishes data on the death penalty in annual reports. Members of their team will host a Q&A following the showing.

The 2020 film, which was selected for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, tells the story of Melissa Lucio, who in 2007 was sentenced to capital punishment for the death of her 2-year-old daughter. Lucio became the first Hispanic woman sentenced to death in Texas, and has been on death row for 13 years, according to the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide.

Her case has gained widespread attention from activists, who say that evidence suggests that the death of her daughter may have been accidental and that police used unethical interrogation techniques to force her to confess.

Rights to the documentary were recently acquired by streaming platform Hulu. The Cornell Cinema screening is free and open to all Cornell students.