tv [untitled] September 13, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
huntsville texas. the man who we are coming to see at the prison of when should have been dead a long time ago he was to be executed by lethal injection. a man sentenced to capital punishment more than twenty years ago for a crime which he has always denied. because i'm a bit of a thought that. there it might work thanks. time has flown by never did we think we would see him
alive again. i. think. one thousand years after our first encounter so many questions are left unanswered how did he stay alive has he changed will we recognise each other. tell us more as to how are you this is him thomas miller. thank you. thomas and his amazing smile unchanged after so many years on death row the meeting is monitored closely next to us
a warden and the man responsible for media in the prison we are being listened to and are warned we are given precisely one hour to interview thomas our time a short time this. is nothing to see. it's nice to be. quite a blessing in comparison to the situation that we were friends with. for at least twenty years. these. years. some time we sit and think back and to figure out exactly how it is that we persevered. in light of the tremendous emotional psychological pressure that goes along with. such an extent the. how can one keep it together for twenty years while waiting for his execution thomas miller was thirty four. he ended up in prison is now sixty one.
his life should have ended here in a death row cemetery much like more than four hundred other people over the past twenty years in texas. when we met him one thousand years ago he said that he only thought about one thing. the day of his death. the minute he will be executed. his medals. seem to. want to be do you want a process that we're. going to see a lethal injection or to. cave move and give your straighten your vision of this for which you're allowed to get what you want to go
over this go away if you want to but. how is he survived since one thousand nine hundred ninety four. it was with these words that thomas miller expressed his fear of execution and also all the questions about his case nineteen years he waited on death row nineteen years claiming his innocence. forcing you all right because it's about you know what the. right. way to going to miscarry through. a question so i doubt this because this is you know. all right i'm just me sitting right there. i mean the rest of you know the city would be a record where you are right and all this difference that it was. a black man accused of killing a white man. typical for texas. during
that month of one thousand nine hundred four thomas miller was on the eve of his execution. we were not to see each other again. what was the incident that landed thomas miller on death row. it was an enigmatic and complex case for which we need to go twenty six years back in time in. our investigation first leads us to the newspaper archives of the dallas library.
a crime among many others but this one went far deeper. vague police reports manipulation and the supreme power of a to disagree system in social discrimination. the a merciless machine that hides its actions but which the miller case will trouble. little is known about what thomas miller is accused of in the middle of the night criminals broke into a holiday inn on the outskirts of dallas they were after the cash register the hold up became a disaster. a young man died from numerous gunshot wounds he was the hotel receptionist. but what exactly happened on the night of november sixteenth one
thousand nine hundred five one man may have an answer to this key question richard rayna is not just a detective but a maverick. he also specializes in the counter investigations of death sentence cases it is thanks to him that innocent inmates were freed after many years on death row i don't get a thing prison oh gosh i think they spent the better part of eleven years. in iraq no they're free they're free everything they did was wrong but there they go they didn't have any representation at all well you know what there are some innocent people. there are prosecutors there are police officers and they will lie that's going to happen problem is nobody here is very much about truth or justice they want to win you know they want to win this no
matter what but this case it was incredible i made copies of every statement given by the. by the policeman. because certainly they had too many months were necessary to gain richard's trust and now he is willing to show his work on the miller case and that name is very familiar these or the convictions this is a bank robbery that he supposedly did. this is what all the witnesses are going to testify to it so you you have all of that for you if this unique evidence enabled richard to form his own opinion. one that undermines the official version well. to argue that thomas was or was not there that's debatable but to actually come up with who did the shooting we don't you know i
can say without a doubt there is questions here you know who actually did the shooting. there were five people that night four man and a woman armed and parks near the hotel according to the police report it was about two am when the group entered the hotel went to the reception desk and asked the two employees for the cast register. hotel clark douglas walker refused to comply he was shot dead at the age of twenty five these young colleague wounded is the only witness of the crime thomas miller is pointed as being the murderer of the young receptionist based soley on his testimony. richard is not satisfied with this official version at all only witness that you was in you have it here you know. this is irrefutable yeah this is you know he clearly tells them
that he came to identify he didn't see anyone he said i'm too tired i didn't see them. and the second time they show him a lineup he can't be absolutely sure. in then towards the end. he describes the other guy and then he describes thomas in here when you have something like that. then you have. this story of the self contradicting president and only witness paul there to richard raina he now wants to know about the arrest. i think we're ok. five days after the crime it is in this quiet
houston suburb that the police arrested thomas miller. this is the street where the shooting took place. actually the police were already waiting for thomas. at night when miller drove his car down a dead end the police ambushed him but they arrested and go as planned gunfire broke out. it is in front of this house that the shooting took place. this is said ninety eight to fifty one. when he saw the police thomas miller tried to escape. to try to get away through here. he was severely wounded by several gunshots he jumped on to court and start running.
and was shot. and. we just we couldn't move his legs per hour. and then we heard. somebody say you see of the niggers be the makers of beer if you're a big kid. actually to me i told thomas that it certainly looked to me like he was supposed to been killed and that's the end of the story. and. but thomas didn't know that he didn't expect to be. to be stabbed in the back by his friend. in fact miller was denounced by his friend john hicks he confessed to the robbery but associated miller with the murder of the young will tell clark.
when you have a lot of people involved in a crime those that come to the prosecutor force and say all cooperate but i don't want to be charged with couple murder i don't want to go to morrow i will help you here is. from the outset thomas miller tonight any involvement in the crime in the end john hicks only served a few years in prison while miller was sentenced to death in this case you have witnesses that you have a witness the survivor of this is he came to identify him and you have somebody else that is save my life and i'll tell you that thomas did. when you have doubts. the both the investigation and the arrest still raise many questions for the police there is no doubt that thomas miller is guilty his punishment must be dest in march one nine hundred eighty six in dallas he was sentenced to capital punishment by an almost all white jury. the judge was bill hill
a man no one for his discrimination against black people. one young lady wants to know everything about this twenty year old trial. is thomas miller's daughter was just a child when he was sentenced. this is the first time she has returned to the hotel where her father was brought almost dying after his arrest show rico was only seven years old i remember i was actually getting dressed for school. when i went into the role. she was about to call my hair. she was like do you know. who that was. and she said that was your dad and at the time they were. the police department and i. said. because i didn't want to go to school at that time.
you know. till the. time. i would get a letter to be executed. i had to go. visit him for two days. to see. bet is it here is scary moment for you to know you can. hear one of your parents at the in a manner of me it's. the first execution date to see this like procter and completely. contribute traumatise you know we were. we were about.
to write a letter to our daughter. you know why you. know you know when you're ready to write a minute you just said just you just write what we said and we start right. away you know because. you know. this is the first appearance of thomas after numerous years of isolation by a spanish television crew in one thousand nine hundred ninety. eight you know. there are more than four hundred inmates alone. in a four square meter. death row there are many black people many hispanic people and many people without lawyers they have nothing else to do but the way the more time
goes by the more they drown in time is never ending but death comes closer by the minute in the year one thousand nine hundred nine. do you. believe. you do. you get to give your execution date. kit go to. court. nightmare. dates. in believe me or just harry one of the two the execution date is enough for anybody go to more later . high security prison poland ski is found in the middle of the texan countryside and this death row has the highest number of executions in the us mimic which for an average of ten years before being
executed. for a long time french activist sundry no shortage has been alongside thomas miller fighting against the death penalty and the horrors of waiting on death row on the shore of what we are on the road between poland ski prison where he said this for and one stage c t well the addiction room is zero down here is the last throes of people sentenced to death it is sad last chance to look outside and see nature and treat the father and their last chance to smell and feel because they've been a solitary confinement for so long. in order to give us. i remember a man sentenced to death was said that that's each breath he took the road to death he heard he's heard the clowder and louder on this about the effect it was going to
else while exposing. thomas miller has been down this path many times. we just start crying you're in the we're is gone you see what i'm doing you know don't let us lose all. because. you got. february july i'm a vendor of ninety four may august and october of ninety five january april and july ninety six february two thousand and two every day does nother delay for miller death leaves ten times and then returns in. this case it's completely in human and believe it or to have to go through the ten times in his life of what he's a never ending torture and we home team and take he said last day. delaying the execution that will take place behind these walls can happen the night before or even in the final few minutes. of bureaucratic error one last appeal by the lawyer
for the mobilization of a few people may be enough to prevent this terrible and while the wardens and witnesses arrive at the walls the one who is to be executed is no longer master of the passage of time only one man stays close to him throughout his last hours. i was a chaplain and i was with ninety five it was to be with them to listen to them to help them with their last letters to make telephone calls for them to ask or in their visitors their family or lawyers or anybody else and to be there when they needed something big or small whatever that would make them and i want to use were happy but that was what i wanted to.
i was a stay right with him all day. there to telephones in the room right after one from the governor one from the attorneys general are in when i was to telephone rang i knew that which. assigned to go. and i'd say it's time to to go. guard to unlock it and i would lead them into this to the death chamber stand right next to. a most them on me to hold their hands and i would hold that hand until they got to. where the executioners had to put a bandage to and then i would stand right five inches from their right way.
and i was put my hand on their way to help us. come and stay until after they were dated. i think we came with them maybe but it was like our own or thirty minutes or something like that right. you know. it is a point that did we had reached where is that. we were happy you know to get it over with you know because we would have an opportunity to. to finally get out of this place you know we see that it's really it's horrible to watch somebody who doesn't know what death is. he was one of the few that. wrote to get prepared he was very cooperative and i think that he
understood when and when he was there that want to i'm not and i racist it can be you know more than fifty percent of the people who are executed texas are not. white. exhausted and appalled after sixteen years in the death row pastor pickett left the prison administration and has chosen to fight it from the outside in a book he speaks of the atrocity of the system the racism and the execution of innocents because of these radical opinions he has been subject to threats and tax inquiries. the state of texas is not one to tolerate criticism of its ways and even if these executions do not help lower the crime rate these cowboys care for their reputation. even proudly promote the death penalty in a museum dedicated to it in huntsville one of the best prison you. saw nothing is
missing. describing life in prison and the forced work of the inmates you may also specify that there is no air conditioning or intimacy in the cells no tourists are reassured security is at its highest level and the number of prosecutions is increasing. my goodness see people come from far away to see it's an electric chair nicknamed old sparky it was discontinued in one thousand nine hundred sixty four lethal injection has replaced it. oh yeah that's right you're going to paris. to see it. for shivering in the tourist can even play prisoner. so i say i'm not really. that.