Students Invite Death Penalty Debate

Prosecutor Lloyd Whelchel (Photo by student Alyson Perkins)

A veteran prosecutor and defense attorney recently brought the debate over the death penalty to Trinity Valley School.

 Assistant District Attorney Lloyd Whelchel and defense lawyer Tim Moore were invited by the school to discuss their positions on capital punishment in an effort to challenge students to form educated opinions.

The Fort Worth private school is producing the play “Dead Man Walking,” which is based on a book and a film about a nun who counseled a killer before he was executed. But first, the students had to fulfill some rather unusual requirements by the film’s Academy Award winning author, producer and director, Tim Robbins.

Defense attorney Tim Moore (Photo by student Alyson Perkins)

Robbins requires schools who want to stage his play to examine capital punishment by involving other academic disciplines (law, sociology, art). Trinity Valley satisfied that requirement, in part, by inviting Whelchel and Moore to debate certain issues surrounding the death penalty.

The aim was to spark a healthy discussion about all aspects of the death penalty.

“Only by dialoguing with those of different opinions are we able to map the future landscape of this eternal debate,” Whelchel said. “With this education, I know we can trust these future leaders to make choices that protect this community from those who would, in life, continue to do us harm.”


- Melody McDonald, Public Information Officer

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