The Experiment
The Experiment
Nov 11, 2021
A Friend in the Execution Room
Play • 28 min

Was anybody willing to be a spiritual adviser to a Muslim man on death row? That’s the question that went out by email to a local group of interfaith leaders in Indiana. Nobody answered. 

After a week without responses, the management professor Yusuf Ahmed Nur stepped forward. A Somali immigrant who volunteered at his local mosque, Nur would counsel Orlando Hall in the weeks leading up to his execution. But Nur didn’t expect he’d end up standing beside Hall in the execution chamber as he was put to death.

“That’s when it hit me,” Nur says. “You feel like you’re complicit, that you are cooperating with the system. They assign you a role to play in this execution.”

This week on The Experiment: One man finds himself at the center of our legal system, and witnesses what gets sacrificed in the pursuit of justice.

This episode of The Experiment originally ran on March 18, 2021.

Further reading: “Trump Is Putting the Machinery of Death Into Overdrive”

A transcript of this episode is available.

Be part of The Experiment. Use the hashtag #TheExperimentPodcast, or write to us at

This episode was produced by Alvin Melathe, Gabrielle Berbey, and Julia Longoria, with editing by Matt Collette and Katherine Wells. Fact-check by William Brennan. Sound design by David Herman. Special thanks to Katie Bishop and Najib Aminy.

Music by water feature (“double blessing ii”), Keyboard (“Being There,” “More Shingles,” “My Atelier,” “Small Island”), and Parish Council (“Heatherside Stores”) provided by Tasty Morsels.

More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu