TEDxJacksonville: How to Survive an Execution

April 12, 2015 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Herb Donaldson on How to Survive an Execution

Playwright Herb Donaldson insists that, “In pursuing justice, we must not become murderers in the process.”

His first book, Southern SHOCK Americana: The Life and Execution of John Mills, Jr., is the true life account of his uncle’s life on Florida’s Death Row. Yuhanna Abdullah Muhommad (a.k.a. John Mills, Jr.), was executed by the State of Florida on December 6, 1996 for a murder that many believe he was not guilty of. In this disquieting TEDxJacksonville talk, Donaldson documents what happens to the execution’s hidden victims–the family members left behind after their loved one is put to death.

Among the lessons he’s learned: “KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE IGNORED.  You will not have a right to call ‘premeditated murder’–or, execution–an injustice. Nobody wants to hear your story, and they will say so to your face.”

Since 2010, playwright Herb Donaldson has written a series of works dealing directly with the history of Wakulla County, his hometown. He is a freelance writer for the Wakulla News, and host of the Wakulla Sunday Radio Program, and founder of the Palaver Tree Theater Company He has also authored three plays, all of which have been featured at numerous festivals, and was a writer for the short film, “Love Aquarium.” Donaldson also serves as president for the Healing Arts of Wakulla County. He is project manager for their latest endeavor, Wakulla’s Working Waterfronts Photo Project, which received a Florida Division of Cultural Affairs grant to graphically document the lifestyles of the county’s maritime community.

This talk comes from TEDxJacksonville's 2014 conference. Connect with TEDxJacksonville here.