Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Jessica Sanders
After Innocence tells the dramatic and compelling story of the exonerated - innocent men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence. Focusing on the gripping stories of... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
After Innocence, the Machinery that Manufactures Wrongful Co
Men'sRightsActivist | Sherman Oaks, CA United States | 02/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie in a theater, when it debuted in Los Angeles. I estimate there were between 100 and 150 people in the audience. It would hardly be fair to say the event was a movie debut, without pointing out that the movie debut also appeared to be an event actively showcasing the cause of the wrongly convicted. The movie, in my opinion, was excellent and showed the lives of a number of men who had been wrongly convicted of crimes, most involving charges of rape. The men talked about:
# their lives before their convictions,
# what circumstances led to their convictions,
# what their lives were like in jail,
# their struggle to be freed by DNA evidence,
# what their lives were like after exoneration.
Many of the exonerated were struggling to receive compensation for their unjust treatment, and most were struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives after being devastated by the inhumanity of America's legal system. The callousness of the system appeared frequently, while apologies for errors were few and far between. It was difficult to sit through the movie without feeling anger toward the cruelty and injustice America's legal system brought into the lives of these men. It was apparent from the reactions of others in the audience I was not alone in my feelings.
The movie was edited so that it also included the struggles of Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld and others in the Innocence Project as they worked to free the wrongly convicted. At one point in the movie a volunteer showed bundle after bundle of letters (from prisoners), in filing cabinets that staff had not even had the resources to open yet. It was an appalling site, considering the perilous existence of some DNA evidence in "official" storage.
After the movie, the writer/director Jessica Sanders conducted a Q & A with the audience. Along with her, were about half a dozen of the wrongly convicted men, some of whom were in the movie. An attorney who had assisted in the project was also on stage. In response to an audience question, the attorney stated that it was his guess that between 1% and 5% of the current prison population was wrongly convicted. He went on to say, "That doesn't sound like much, but given that our present prison population is 2,000,000, that works out to between 20,000 and 100,000 human beings." Although it was never mentioned in the Q & A, or the movie, 93% of those incarcerated are male.
On the way out of the theater, we passed by tables that sold baseball caps, t-shirts, books, and CD's. The book that was on sale was entitled "Surviving Justice," and is also available through Amazon.com.
I paused momentarily at one of the tables, while my friend asked questions. In several subsequent discussions with audience members, and people at tables, I mentioned that I was a member of the National Coalition of Free Men Los Angeles, and said, "We encounter a lot of men who are 'falsely accused.' You know, the preliminary step leading to wrongful convictions."
In the lobby, my friend asked one of the attorneys in the group what culpability the government had for those wrongly convicted. He was told, "Unless it can be shown that the government was malicious, there is none." Perhaps the government hasn't learned yet that the American public is very angry about all the "witch hunting" of innocent men going on, but there is a growing effort underway to "educate" them of that fact.
I highly recommend the movie After Innocence for one and all. The stories of wrongly convicted men, who have regained their freedom, is a heroic effort worth knowing. The stories of wrongly convicted men, struggling to regain the shattered pieces of their lives, is an American tragedy worthy of every citizen's help and support to make right."
greg.gxt | 02/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"to put it simply, this film is a STUNNING jaw-dropper. it is by far one of the best films i have seen in decades, not because of great film-making techniques, but simply because of its incredibly powerful content. highly worth your time to see the how and why our (U.S.) justice system so consistently malfunctions and to see the wide swath of lives it ravages in the process.
but this is a truly hopeful film, as it shows many exonerees who, after being freed, have risen above the horrors of being imprisoned for 10, 20 years for committing no crime at all; and it shows many of those in the innocence project who make enormous sacrifices of time, effort, and money to save innocent people from the hell of unjust imprisonment and death."
Every Juror (and voter) Should Watch "After Innocence"
Susan Chandler | 03/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having lived in Brevard County, Florida, where Wilton Dedge was exonerated, and having experienced traumatic exchanges with some of the parties involved in his wrongful conviction and his delayed exoneration, I have the unfortunate ability to rate Jessica Sander's directorship from a personal standpoint. After Innocence took the high road; Ms. Sanders could have revealed there was a prior Brevard exoneree, Juan Ramos, who served five years due to the testimony of the bogus "sniffing dog" handler who testified against Dedge, and mentioned that another likely wrongful Brevard conviction (partly based on the dog) is on the Innocence Project's radar. While both these men's stories are as important as Wilton Dedge's, they could have taken the film into the realm of appearing to be a cinematic indictment of Brevard County, detracting from the stories of the exonerees from other locations. I encourage those who purchase the DVD to watch the Special Features, not only to extend the great feeling the film leaves them with, but so they'll be inspired to support the Innocence Project until every state learns the right way to say they're sorry for wrongful imprisonments. While I'm grateful that the film thoroughly educates potential jurors, one aspect I wish Ms. Sanders had been hit hard on is that voters nationwide can give elected public servants that don't care about innocence -- governors, legislators, D.A.'s -- the opportunity to find a new line of work for which they're better suited."