Randal Padgett

Randal Padgett spent three years on death row, two years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Randal Padgett had a degree from Jacksonville State University and was a successful businessman with no prior criminal record. But then in 1992, he was convicted for the rape and murder of his estranged wife Cathy. The judge overruled the jury’s recommendation of life in prison to give Randal a death sentence. The case against Randal was based almost completely on tainted DNA evidence. In 1995, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction, as the state failed to reveal discrepancies in the blood tests that would have aided in Randal’s defense.

In preparation for a second trial, Randal’s family hired a new lawyer, Richard Jaffe, known for providing strong defense for prisoners on death row. The attorney emphasized that more evidence existed incriminating a co-worker, with whom Randal had an affair. In October 1997, Randal was acquitted of all charges.





© 2022 Martin Schoeller
Overview
Death Row Exonerees

Through partnership with Witness to Innocence, Martin photographed, interviewed, and filmed death row exonerees, recording and sharing their stories of how they were sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit.* 

I have been living in the US for 25 years and, as a German national raised in the shadow of the Nazi regime, remain appalled by state-sponsored murder. In this series I partnered with Witness to Innocence, the organization founded by activist Sister Helen Prejan and death row exoneree, Ray Krone.  As they fight to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. and to shine a harsh light on the profound, damning flaws in the ways these laws are applied, 189 women and men that were sentenced to die have been exonerated.

I wanted to present viewers with a harrowing, interactive account of the stories of innocent people forced to endure government-sanctioned horror.  These women and men bear dignified witness to the unacceptable costs of a misguided system of laws in desperate need of revision and a prison system that focuses on retaliation and rehabilitation.
– Martin Schoeller


︎Moving Portraits
︎Short Documentaries

*individual texts courtesy of Witness to Innocence


Exhibitions
2020, Death Row Exonerees, Fotografiska, New York, New York, USA
2020, Works, NRW Forum, Berlin, Germany


Selected Press
Sentenced to death, but innocent: These are stories of justice gone wrong, National Geographic, USA
Martin Schoeller: Moving Portraits, Witness to Innocence, USA
Martin Schoeller: Death Row Exonerees, Air Mail Arts Intel, USA
Death Row Exonerees, ArtForum, USA
Martin Schoeller/Death Row Exonerees, Flaunt Magazine, USA
Interview: Martin Schoeller at Fotografiska New York Re-Opening, Musée Magazine, USA
Death Row Exonerees: behind a powerful photo project on injustice, The Guardian, USA
Martin Schoeller: ‘I am trying to show a humanity I think we all share’, TimeOut Shanghai, China
Death Row Exonerees Exhibit Featured in the Guardian, Witness to Innocence, USA