Sam Cayhall sat in his gloomy cell waiting for what was to be the last
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Sam Cayhall sat in his gloomy cell waiting for what was to be the last 10 minutes of his life. He sang nervously to himself as he waited to be directed to the gas chamber. All he had been thinking about in that past week was how the gas would burn its way down his throat and melt his lungs. The stories he had heard of the past executed were so bad that it left himself - a murderer - in the utmost horror. Although the execution itself was quick, it was considered to be the most excruciating and longest 5 minutes of his life.
Adam Hall, Sams young lawyer and grandson, had fought so hard in belief that his rough grandfather was unfairly sentenced. He believed that Sams case demonstrated the ultimate misuse of power.
Sam Cayhall was born into the Ku Klux Klan. He was raised and tought hatred, bigotry and violence since he was a small boy. His father was a klansmen, his brothers were klansmen and his grandfather was a klansmen.Sam Cayhalls great great grandfather was a co-founding member of the evil religion. Blood and death were served at Sunday morning breakfast for Sam Cayhall. At the innocent age of 10, he was brought to horrifying lynchings, a site that no child, nor adult, should ever experience.
Although it is apparant that Sam Cayhall is guilty of murdering the two young Kramer twins, it is not right to murder him when he has been taught nothing else than to kill Jewish and African-Americans.
Capital Punishment, from the sentencing through to the execution is a display of the ultimate use of power by a government. It is controversial both in countries where it is in practise as well as in those where it isn't. The reason for this controversy is due to the awkward nature of killing someone as a 'legal duty' in today's western culture. Vengeful 'Eye for an Eye' type social punishment philosophies were, for the most part, well overtaken by more humane punishments, primarily imprisonment. In addition to the questionable philosophical, sociological and psychological issue to do with capital punishment, it still remains that human error and miscalculation may at one stage mean the cause of wrong and/or unnecessary death by the state. Ironically in Australia, the last man sentenced to death was later found not to be guilty.
In the film, The Chamber, based on John Grisham's book similarly named, capital punishment is pushed to its moral edge when it becomes a matter of political expediency. This can be seen twice in particularly. Firstly when Sam Cahall is used by David McCallister to increase his power and promotion as D.A. and secondly when McCallister now governor of the state uses Cayhall again to retain his position by maintaining his popularity. In this respect the film highlights the erroneous political means by which politicians often achieve their epic power search and promotion struggle.
The film details how David McCallister, a District Attourney for the State brings back Cahall's trial after 14 years for the purpose of promoting his own self-interests.McCallister understood the difference in jury compositions that had come about after one and a half decades - that being a more egalitarian non anti-semite societal base. This difference in jury composition meant that a conviction was far more likely. McCallister took Cahall to court, and one the case, causing Cahall to be sentenced to death by the Gas Chamber.
The film then depicts later on the further and more critical aspect of political expediency at its climax when McCallister, now Governor of the State, uses his previous prosecution case against Cahall to his advantage, bringing to the fore Cahall's pending death in order to arouse popularity for him thereby saving his job.
Particularly in this movie it is clear that Cahall's execution, and even his trial and imprisonment are used as the foundation for his immoral path of political self-interest and opportunism. The idea of this is to accentuate the reality of the condemnation of a person to death juxtaposed with human error and egoism.
The film raises a lot of crucial moral dilemmas in modern day society. Further to that, it adds the element of all to common corruption at an immoral yet not
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Films, The Chamber, Capital punishment, Gas chamber
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