Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.

[ Fred Leuchter,Jr.]
I became involved...

in the manufacture
of execution equipment...

because I was concerned
with the deplorable condition...

of the hardware that's in
most of the states'prisons,

which generally results
in torture...

prior to death.
A number of years ago
I was asked by a state...

to look at
their electric chair.

I was surprised
at the condition
of the equipment...

and I indicated to them
what changes should be made...

to bring the equipment
up to the point of doing
a humane execution.

Beyond making
recommendations for changes,

I sat down, on my own time
and at my own expense,

and made a new design
and new equipment...

available to the states...
utilizing electrocution...
at a price far lower than
they would have to deal with...

if they hired
an engineering firm
to redesign a specific item.

The equipment
is all standardized,

it all meets the current
electrical requirements
for electrocution...

and the pricing is such...
that it's similar
to what you'd pay for
an off-the-shelf item,

even though it's made up.
They essentially pay
for the parts, the labor
and the installation,

and a 20-percent markup,
which is more than fair.

We are testing
the electrocution system...

here at
the Tennessee State Prison.

This is connected to
the execution system...

in place of
the electric chair,

and the system thinks
that this is a human body.

It consists of a series
of heavy-duty resistors...