Review of the Netflix documentary series The Confession Tapes

The Confession Tapes directed by Kelly Loudenberg Rating ***** As someone who follows and writes about our broken criminal justice system, I found the Netflix documentary series Confession Tapes to be a compelling, unflinching look at the consequences of getting it wrong. Most of the time I learn about wrongful convictions after the fact when […]

Review of Confession Tapes True East

Confession Tapes episode one True East Rating ***** The new Netflix documentary series Confession Tapes is an eye opener for anyone who does not believe in false confessions. The first episode tells the story of Atif Rafy and Sebastian Burns, two young men tricked into confessing and who remain in prison. The filmmakers allow the […]

Review of Who Killed These Girls?

Review of Who Killed These Girls? by Beverly Lowry Rating ***** How is it that so many supposed professionals can look at a confession that has every indication of being coerced continue with a prosecution? It’s unbelievable to me that so many detectives, prosecutors, district attorneys, judges, and jurors can be so incompetent that they […]

Nancy Grace proves Steven Avery is innocent

I am not a fan of Nancy Grace. So when I heard that she was devoting an entire show to the Steven Avery case with the teaser that she was going to show the evidence the documentary left out, I thought I would watch with an open mind. Maybe there is important evidence that might help […]

Review of Just Mercy

Review of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson Rating ***** At the center of this story is the wrongful conviction of Walter McMillian and the author’s attempts to free him. Interspersed between that story are other stories of wrongful convictions and sad accounts of a broken justice system. Along the way the author touches on a number […]

A Wrongful Conviction in the Making

This is a story unlike any other that I’ve come across. If you type in the search phrase “wrongful convictions” in the search box on this site, you will see the numerous cases of wrongful convictions that I have covered. Some of the wrongfully convicted are freed. Some are still in prison (see the story […]

Michael Morton’s Modern Day Classic

Review of Getting Life by Michael Morton Rating ***** I am a huge fan of shows like 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, 20/20, and Dateline. I never pass up an opportunity to watch one of these shows when they’re on. Such was the case when I happened upon the story of Michael Morton. Michael Morton was […]

My Oscar pick for best documentary

For the first time ever I’ve had a chance to view all five best documentary films before the Oscars. Netflix has four of the five. The one film they didn’t have — Twenty Feet From Stardom — is available on Amazon Prime as a rental. First a quick look at the five nominated films: The […]

West of Memphis an Examination of Incompetence

West of Memphis directed by Amy Berg written by Amy Berg and Billy McMillin Rating ***** This documentary covers the same ground covered by the three Paradise Lost films concerning the wrongful convictions of Jason Baldwin, Damien Wayne Echols, and Jessie Misskelley. As good as those other films were, this film stands on its own […]

Ryan Ferguson: Free at last

I first wrote about Ryan Ferguson in the post Injustice in plain sight. When a local judge in Columbia decided to not vacate Ryan’s sentence after the two eyewitnesses who put him there recanted their testimony, I got personally involved and called the Attorney General’s office. Ryan’s story is a perfect example of how wrongful […]

Our broken justice system: The Central Park Five

Review of The Central Park Five written by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon Rating ***** This film should be required viewing for anyone who works in the justice system. This story is a textbook example of how wrongful convictions occur. There are common elements with every wrongful conviction. They most often involve males […]

An Absolute Must See Film

Review of Frontline: The Confessions written & directed by Ofra Bikel Rating ***** This is one of those films that tell a story that would be hard to believe if it wasn’t true. If you have any doubts that our justice system isn’t flawed – watch this film! If you have any doubt that the […]

A Review of The Conspirator

A review of The Conspirator written by James D. Solomon and directed by Robert Redford Rating **** 1/2 I’m not sure how well this film did at the box office. My recollection is that it got mixed reviews and probably didn’t make a whole lot of money, at least not in theatres. My guess, though, […]

Conviction – Best I’ve seen this year

There are so many wrongful conviction stories to tell, how do you decide which one to bring to the big screen? They’re all compelling. There are so many of them since DNA testing began that it’s almost becoming routine. Someone is freed from prison after serving decades. Today it’s almost like hearing about another shooting on the local news.