Last time on Life of the Law we presented Unequal Protection – Part 1, the story of Warren McCleskey’s unsuccessful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. McCleskey argued that his death sentence by the state of Georgia had been prejudiced by the color of skin and that he had not been given equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Walking into the prison, I was the first one. I walked in and his lawyers were walking toward me.  I was looking at them and I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ They said, Tthey denied him.’ And I just dropped to the floor. Just screaming and crying and like, they didn’t even take time to think this through. They really gonna kill my dad.

— Carla McCleskey

This week, we present Part 2 of Sarah Marshall’s report on Warren McCleskey’s life after the Supreme Court ruling and his execution on September 25, 1991 by the state of Georgia.


Production Notes

Unequal Protection was reported by Sarah Marshall, edited by Nancy Mullane, and produced by our Senior Producer, Tony Gannon. 

Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain.

Our engineers were Paul Ruet of Argot Studios in San Francisco and Katie McMurran of KQED Radio in San Francisco. Music in this episode was composed and produced by Ian Coss.

Transcript of Unequal Protection: Part 2


This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from the Open Society Foundations, the Law and Society Association, and the National Science Foundation.

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