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.

The Wronged Man vs Hot Tub Time Machine

I recently went to Blockbuster and walked out with two movies. The first was Hot Tub Time Machine. The second was a movie I just happened to see on the shelf titled The Wronged Man. Now I can’t defend my choice of Hot Tub Time Machine. It looked like it might be funny. It had John Cusack. It had a picture of a scantily clad woman on the DVD cover. So how bad could it be? Okay, it was bad. It was beyond bad. It was a one line joke that wouldn’t have made it as a SNL skit.

The case of Paul Cortez

Paul’s conviction was based almost exclusively on two bits of circumstantial evidence: Phone records that indicate that he was in the area around the time of the murder. (Paul lived in worked in the neighborhood.) And testimony from an individual that claimed to have seen Paul immediately after the murder wearing boots that matched footprints found at the scene. Problem is, 48 hours interviewed this same witness before the trial and he claimed that he had no idea what he was wearing. Think about it. If you’re having lunch with a friend, could you testify months later what type of shoes he was wearing fourteen months earlier?

Review of After Innoncence

As bad as it is for innocent men and women to be wrongfully convicted, what happens afterwords is often even more tragic. For one, the people who made the mistakes that led to the wrongful convictions rarely admit to their errors. In fact, they go out of their way to suppress evidence, delay hearings, and whatever else it takes to keep the truth from getting out. Even when the truth is presented, they steadfastly hang on to their belief that the men are guilty.