INDEPENDENT LENS: True Conviction
Airs Monday, April 30, 2018 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Credit: Courtesy of David Alvarado
Discover a detective agency in Dallas, run by three exonerated men who all spent decades in prison. Their mission: to free other innocent people still behind bars.
After serving a combined 60 years in prison for crimes they did not commit, three recently exonerated Texans — Christopher Scott, Johnnie Lindsey and Steven Phillips — join forces to form the unlikeliest of investigative teams, on a mission to help wrongfully convicted prisoners obtain freedom like they did.
In Jamie Meltzer's hardboiled yet rousing documentary, brotherly bonds are formed out of shared hardships — lengthy prison sentences in a state that executes more inmates than any other.
Through the steadfast fieldwork of this grassroots "dream team," these Dallas detectives are transforming decades of hard time into a new career helping others just like them.
“True Conviction” premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Monday, April 30, 2018 on PBS.
Focusing on the cases of Max Soffar, a death row inmate of 35 years who was forced into a triple murder confession as a young man, and Isaiah Hill, sentenced to life in prison on aggravated assault charges after refusing a plea bargain, the trio logs in hundreds of miles digging up fresh evidence on behalf of their incarcerated clients.
Through tenacity, hope and determination these freedom fighters work together to rebuild broken lives and families as they campaign to fix the criminal justice system while still fighting demons of their own.
“There’s never been a detective agency quite like the one Chris, Johnnie and Steven formed to free other wrongfully-convicted men,” said Lois Vossen, INDEPENDENT LENS executive producer. “Who better than three innocent and freshly exonerated men to smell out flawed cases, false evidence or corrupt cops and DA’s? Their search for justice is part ‘true crime’ story, part struggle for redemption, and part fight for social change in a truer-than-fiction account that plays like an Easy Rawlins novel meets Hollywood movie.”
“By focusing on the experiences of a group of exonerees who are themselves learning to investigate … this project is unique. It celebrates the indomitable spirit of these men… follows a gripping storyline… and highlights the challenges and roadblocks of investigating and proving another man’s innocence. This unprecedented approach sets the film apart from other documentaries that have explored the lives of the wrongly convicted.”—Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, Co-founders and Co-directors, Innocence Project
Tribeca Film Festival - Special Jury Mention for Best Documentary Feature
Oak Cliff Film Festival - Best Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize
Annapolis Film Festival - Audience Award - Best Documentary
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Directed by Jamie Meltzer. Produced by David Alvarado, Kate McLean and Michael May. Executive Producers are Adam Spielberg, Dan Cogan, Seth Gordon, Jenny Raskin, Lois Vossen and Sally Jo Fifer. Cinematographer is David Alvarado. Editor is Jeff Gilbert. Music by Joshua Abrams.
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