Execution Day: Huntsville, Texas

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On March 11, 1998, 47-year-old Jerry Lee Hogue was put to death for the 1979 arson-murder of an Arlington, Texas, woman. Unlike the lethal injection earlier that year of Karla Faye Tucker (the first woman put to death in Texas in 130 years), which drew hundreds of national and international reporters and demonstrators, Hogue’s execution — like most in Huntsville — went largely unnoticed. Long Haul’s Dan Collison spent the day of Hogue’s execution interviewing Huntsville residents all over town: the mayor, city manager, and district attorney, none of whom was aware that an execution was scheduled that day. Neither did the regulars at the Cafe Texan, nor the women getting manicures at “Perfect Nails” on Main Street just a few blocks from the death house. At year’s end, Collison appeared on 60 Minutes in a segment exploring the possibility Hogue may have been innocent.

Winner: 1999 National Federation of Community Broadcasters Award.