TV Highlights

Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead

PBS America - 10.15pm

Who's in it?

The rather unexpected friendship between law professor Robert Blecker and convicted child killer Daryl Holton is revealed in this fascinating film about crime and punishment.

In a nutshell

Robert Blecker believes in the death penalty. So did Daryl Holton – and he was on Death Row. This was the strange common ground between the two men. Despite being on opposite sides of prison bars, despite Holton's own date with death at the hands of the state, they both agreed that, for certain crimes, capital punishment is good and right.

Holton's own crimes were certainly monstrous – he gunned down his own children, four of them, in the wake of his divorce. When Blecker visited him during a research trip to his jail, he was surprised at how articulate, thoughtful and wittily accepting of his own fate Blecker was. What ensued was the strangest of friendships, with letters and phonecalls passing between the two as they mutually explored subjects like morality, redemption and justice – while that moment in the electric chair grew ever closer for Holton.

What's the verdict?

A programme you'll probably find difficult to watch, if only because you'll probably end up warming to Holton just as Blecker did, this promises to be one of the most eye-opening shows of the year.

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07-07-2011