What’s the Latest Development?
A new documentary produced by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson details the plight of the West Memphis Three, three teenagers wrongly convicted of murder and released after serving 18 years in prison. Called “West of Memphis,” the footage suggests an unfair bias in favor of state prosecutors and that police misconduct often goes unchallenged. “The film combines original footage from police interviews, court trials and news reports with interviews conducted by the film-makers with the accused, their families and original witnesses—one of whom recants her earlier statement.”
What’s the Big Idea?
While the story of the West Memphis Three seems incredible, wrongful convictions are unfortunately common. “140 people have been released from death row since 1973 after being proven innocent, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre. … Perhaps where the system is broken, and in some cases openly skewed in favour of the prosecution, documentaries that bolster the defence are admissible. It may seem partisan or sensationalist, but such films could be an important platform for these campaigns against miscarriages of justice.”
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