Review of Frontline: The Confessions written & directed by Ofra Bikel
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 legal system isn’t so heavily weighted in the favor of the prosecution that they can convict anyone of a crime without a sliver of evidence – watch this film! If you don’t think it’s possible for someone to confess to a crime they didn’t commit – watch this film? Are you a lawyer with a client you think may have made a false confession – watch this film!
I’m not going to provide a detailed review of this excellent documentary. That’s because I couldn’t do it without revealing the unbelievable set of circumstances that resulted in four men being wrongfully convicted and still not totally exonerated. What I can do is make it as easy as possible for you to watch this film. I’m including the full length film in this post. So you can watch it right here, right now. Don’t have ninety minutes to spend? Come back when you do. You don’t want to pass this one up. You can watch America’s Got (useless) Talent some other time.
This is story about not one but four false confessions, all at the hands of the same detective. A detective I’m happy to say who is now serving time for his other crimes. But it is also an illustration of just how flawed our justice system is. Everyone involved with this case, from the initial detectives investigating the death of twenty-four-year-old Michelle Bosko, to the incompetent defendant lawyers, to the jurists, to the judge, to the prosecutor, all failed miserably. And the fact that these four men are still suffering the consequences from this long chain of incomprehensible mistakes is equally unbelievable.
And the saddest part about all of this is that this isn’t an isolated case. It happens all the time. It happened in Memphis to the Memphis Three as told in the series of documentaries Paradise Lost one through three, which will soon be told in the film West of Memphis. I’ve covered similar cases on this blog including the cases of Billy Wayne Cope and Ryan Ferguson.
I can’t undo the wrong that has been inflicted upon Derek Tice, Danial Williams, Joe Dick, and Eric Wilson. What I can do is bring attention to their story and single out some of the individuals responsible for this miscarriage of justice, starting with the aforementioned detective Robert Glenn Ford, Attorney’s Michael Fasanaro and Danny Shipley, and Prosecutor D.J. Hansen.