Straight Up: Steve’s’ mother took part in anti-death penalty vigils, a cause that has been taken up by her son. He has worked to abolish the death penalty and has recorded several songs about this cause, including “Billy Austin,” “Over Yonder (Jonathan’s Song)” and “Ellis Unit One” for the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. Ellis Unit, located in Huntsville, TX, previously housed the Texas male death row convicts, until it was moved to Polunsky Unit near Livingston, Texas. He exchanged letters with a prisoner on death row named Jonathan Wayne Nobles, the subject of “Over Yonder”, and, at the request of Nobles, attended his execution in 1998. In 2010 Earle was awarded the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s Shining Star of Abolition.
Steve Earle- 'Ellis Unit One' As Performed Live On CMT's 'Unplugged At Studio 330' In 2001- In Addition: Steve Relates A Jesse Helms Cautionary Tale Plus His Account Of The Execution Of Friend Jonathon Wayne Nobles.
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By Rich Buckland • 07/24/2012 12:28 PM