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Execution of Robert Wayne Williams (1983)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: News, Public Affairs

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1983-12-16

Duration: 00:08:52

Subjects: Capital Punishment | Crime | Louisiana State Penitentiary | ANGOLA STATE PRISON | Williams, Robert Wayne, d. 1983


  • Johnson, Ken Host
  • Ekings, Robyn Reporter
  • Maggio, Ross Speaker
  • Williams, Robert Wayne Interviewee
  • Brown, Ossie Speaker
  • Kelly, Charles Speaker
  • Dybdahl, Tom Interviewee
  • Sirken, Susannah Interviewee
  • Williams, Rose Speaker
  • Schlangenstein, Mary Speaker
  • Even, Dan Speaker
  • Hill, John Speaker
  • Treen, Dave Interviewee


This segment from the December 16, 1983, episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features Robyn Ekings’ in-depth report on the execution of convicted murderer Robert Wayne Williams at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, the first execution in Louisiana since 1961. This report includes: a press conference with Angola Warden Ross Maggio following the execution; an interview with Robert Wayne Williams; Baton Rouge District Attorney Ossie Brown and Charles Kelly, the victim’s son, speaking at Williams’ hearing before the Louisiana Board of Pardons; a prayer vigil by opponents of the death penalty at the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge on the night of the execution, including interviews with Tom Dybdahl of Citizens Against the Death Penalty and Susannah Sirken of Amnesty International; Rose Williams, the mother of Robert Wayne Williams, speaking at a prayer vigil outside of Angola on the night of the execution; a press conference with Mary Schlangenstein, a reporter and witness to the execution, reading a statement made by Williams before his death; a press conference with Dan Even and John Hill, reporters and witnesses, recounting the execution of Williams; and an interview with Governor Dave Treen on his decision not to stay the execution. Host: Ken Johnson