This short documentary film follows Dr. Carlo Musso, a physician who has overseen Georgia’s lethal injection team since 2003. The Sandman explores Dr. Musso’s own moral equivocation and justification for providing “end of life care” within the correctional environment, while personally opposing capital punishment.
Examining the reasons why a doctor opposed to capital punishment has engaged in dozens of Georgia executions, this film provides unique insight into the challenges of the modern-day death penalty in America.
The medical community strongly opposes the use of medicine for executions. And yet, most states that practice lethal injections require a physician’s oversight. Because of this conflict, states go to great lengths to conceal the identities of participating medical personnel. But Dr. Carlo Musso has been public about his decade-plus long tenure on Georgia’s execution team. The Sandman follows a doctor torn between the Hippocratic Oath and a commitment to provide what he calls “end of life care” within the correctional environment. And yet, Dr. Musso personally opposes the practice of capital punishment. This short documentary explores his equivocation and justification as he grapples with his own moral contradiction and asks audiences to consider how medicine might mask the violent nature of such a practice.
In this haunting documentary, a physician not only provides health care to prisoners but – against the ethical tenets of every major medical professional organization – also assists in executions.