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USA, 2013, 60 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Animated, Crime, Documentary
Program: DocumentaryLanguage: English
DIRECTOR: Sheila M. Sofian
Producer: Sheila M. SofianEditor: Yu GuCinematographer: Tom Curran
Imagine serving 25 years in prison for a murder you didn’t commit. Although through new technologies, such as DNA testing, some wrongly convicted inmates are now being exonerated, for Eddie Baker, Joyce Anne Brown, and Jimmy Landano, those years served can never be regained. How as a civilized society are we being held accountable? Sadly for many, “the only justice in America is what you can buy.”
It is not a sinister master plan of the law enforcement and judicial systems to put innocent civilians behind bars, but it is an epidemic of taking the easy way out. Following up on evidence takes time and taxpayer dollars. Admitting you nabbed the wrong guy wouldn’t save face in the already painfully critical media’s eyes. And paying for expensive private-practice lawyers and “expert” testimony accompanying DNA results is not an option for those already below the poverty line. The excuses go on and on, and for USC professor and director Shelia M. Sofian, reform is imperative for our country’s future.
Sofian’s impressionistic animation captures the surreal accounts of the interviewed prisoners as they provide a voice for other wrongfully accused Americans, who in the past have just been an ignorable statistic. Fortunately, there is growing awareness of this problem, thanks to activists such as James McCloskey of Centurion Ministries. Legal experts Barry Scheck and Vincent Bugliosi also are interviewed in this unique documentary.
In cooperation with ACLU - Colorado and Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition
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