We have three exclusive clips from The Lena Baker Story, which will be released on DVD January 4. Click below to watch these exclusive scenes that dig deeper into this story of the only woman to ever be executed by electrocution in the state of Georgia (though she was posthumously pardoned in 2005).
Based on true events, The Lena Baker Story recounts one African-American woman's struggle to rise above the challenges of her life, to face the choices she makes, and to ultimately triumph over her impossible circumstances. As a young girl in the early 1900s Lena Baker (Tichina Arnold) and her mother (Beverly Todd) make ends meet by picking cotton in the hot southern sun of rural Cuthbert, Georgia. Lena grows up to work as a prostitute during the Roaring Twenties, gets arrested is and sentenced to ten months of hard labor. After this grueling experience, she reunites with her mother and eventually overcomes her inner demons.
Just when it seems Lena may be able to forget the sorrow of her past, she is called to work for Elliot Arthur (Peter Coyote), a white man known in Cuthbert for his angry disposition and drinking; with whom she develops a highly-charged relationship. One particularly hot and humid night, Lena finally stands up for herself and attempts to break free from his bondage. After a struggle in which the gun they tussle over accidentally goes off, Elliot Arthur is shot by Lena Baker. She is arrested soon after by the towns sympathetic sheriff (Michael Rooker) who is helpless in the face of social mores of the time.he trial is swift and a jury of 12 white men, her subpoenaed peers, find Lena guilty of murder in less than six hours. Lena soon receives the devastating news that she has been sentenced to death by electrocution. During the coming months, Lena prepares for her passing with dignity and strength. In the end, she dies confident in the knowledge that God will judge her in a way that her fellow human beings could not.
Lena Baker was the first and only woman to be sentenced to death by the electric chair in the state of Georgia and was executed in 1945. She was pardoned posthumously in 2005.
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
- - Stills gallery