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Death Row Stories

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CNN is by and large still a cable news outlet, but a movement under the leadership of network president Jeff Zucker to provide more alternative, entertainment-based programming is clearly afoot, and "Death Row Stories" is a prime example. The documentary -- the result of a collaboration with Academy Award-winning directors Robert Redford ("Ordinary People") and Alex Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side") -- revisits compelling capital murder cases in the U.S., detailing the twists and turns involved in each as a thought-provoking exercise on the death penalty and the American justice system. Redford's Sundance Productions also partnered with CNN for the documentary series "Chicagoland."

Latest episodes

airs in 6 days
When 19-year-old Stacey Stites' body is found half-naked by the side of the road, her fiancé, police officer Jimmy Fennell, is cleared as a suspect.
VOD available
The body of missing Melissa Trotter is recovered in a forest, and police zero in on Larry Swearingen who is convicted of her murder and sentenced to death; 20 years later, Larry maintains his innocence, pointing out flaws in the state's case.
aired 19 days ago
In 1987, wealthy British businessman Kris Maharaj receives the death sentence for a double homicide inside a luxury Miami hotel, but idealistic attorney Clive Stafford Smith uncovers powerful evidence that supports an alternative explanation of the killings, opening a virtual Pandora's box of the city's lucrative drug trafficking and money-laundering operations.
VOD available
Edward Byrom is found dead in his rural Mississippi home, shot four times with his own 9-millimeter pistol; his 19-year-old son names his mother as the mastermind behind the murder, claiming she hired the young man's friend to shoot her husband.
airs in 6 days
Tenacious legal intern Diana Holt, comes across the case of African American handyman, Edward Lee Elmore and devotes her life to saving his when he is quickly found guilty in the murder of an elderly white widow and sentenced to death.
VOD available
Nick Yarris' uncanny knowledge of a gruesome kidnapping and murder makes him a prime suspect and eventually lands him on death row; 20 years later, new evidence emerges offering Yarris a glimpse of hope.
aired 21 days ago
After a family of six is found brutally murdered in a rural Texas town, a perpetrator confesses to the crime.
aired 31 days ago
Sabrina Butler, a 17-year-old African-American woman, arrives at a Mississippi hospital with her baby dead on arrival; nurses and doctors suspect foul play, and Sabrina cannot give straight answers about what happened to her baby.
aired 31 days ago
A convicted killer is set free when new evidence comes to light.
aired 31 days ago
A babysitter is found brutally murdered in Santa Ana, Calif., with five young children in the home left unscathed; the parents are quick to point to Kenneth Clair, a local transient who burglarized their home in the past.
aired 31 days ago
Joyce Ride, the mother of Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut, becomes intrigued by the case of former Sacramento law school student, Gloria Killian who has no prior criminal record and was found guilty of a brutal home invasion and murder.
VOD available
The murder of a young couple inside their Florida home leaves police baffled; months later, a woman comes forward to implicate her ex-husband, Joe Martinez, who is convicted on the basis of a surveillance tape and the testimony of a jilted lover.
aired 45 days ago
A Texas mother is sentenced to death after being convicted of murdering her two young sons in their Dallas-area home.
aired 52 days ago
Ohio, Arizona and Oklahoma are among the states where lethal injection executions have gone horribly wrong.
aired 52 days ago
Detective Marshall Frank attempts to exonerate his fellow cop James Duckett, who is sentenced to death for the rape and murder of an eleven year-old girl.
aired 52 days ago
Clarence "Smitty" Smith, the leader of the notorious biker club the Outlaws, is accused of a quadruple homicide in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; after beating the rap for the homicides, he is sentenced to death for the car bombing of a federal witness.
aired 52 days ago
An eight-year-old boy is the only survivor of a brutal family massacre in a California home.
aired 52 days ago
Upon the discovery of an 11-year old girl suffocated with her own underwear, two step-brothers, ages 15 and 19, confess to the murder; with IQs each under 60, they insist upon their innocence and claim their confessions were coerced.
aired 52 days ago
A small-town Illinois barfly is quickly sentenced to death for the alleged murder of a pair of newlyweds.
aired 52 days ago
No one listened to 27-year old Army vet Joe D'Ambrosio's pleas of innocence in the 1988 murder of Tony Klann, until Father Neil Kookoothe began investigating and discovered a shocking cover-up.
aired 52 days ago
Evidence emerges causing many to question the guilt of Army sergeant Tim Hennis who is sentenced to death for the murder of the wife and two children of an Air Force captain; a bizarre and unprecedented journey through the American justice system.

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