As I combed my RSS Feed for stories to share on GBN today, I was particularly taken by an article posted by the indefatigable Tambay A. Obenson of Shadow And Act, (the most comprehensive site on black cinema, past and present, that I have ever come across). It was an update on a documentary project now called “True Conviction” that Obenson has been tracking on his blog for about 2 years, starting with its Kickstarter fundraising campaign in early 2013. Today, he posted the link to a seven-minute preview of the film directed by Jamie Meltzer.
I opened it to watch and was immediately riveted by the story – how three men, each convicted, imprisoned and eventually exonerated for crimes they didn’t commit – banded together to form an agency to help countless other innocent people who are still unjustly serving time. When one of the detectives, Christopher Scott, confronts Alonso Hardy, who confessed to having committed the crime for which Scott was imprisoned, it is a moment to which every person in America should bear witness, and hopefully begin to understand and help change our devastatingly faulty and racist criminal justice system.
Even though robbed of a large chunk of their adulthoods, Scott and his partners Johnnie Lindsey and Steven Phillips dedicate their lives to helping others, because, as Scott states so poignantly at the end of the trailer:
As much as I paid for his weakness, he didn’t do this to me. It was men much more powerful than Alonso. Cops, prosecutors, D.A.s, judges… The justice system wronged me so much, you know, I had to come out and try to make a change. My whole mission is to free as many people as I can before I leave this world.
I’d embed the video if I could, but it won’t allow me. So I am posting the link to the trailer right here: https://vimeo.com/145864128. Additionally, if you want to sign up to receive newsletters about the film, events related to it and upcoming screenings, you can do so at trueconvictionfilm.com.