Adopt an Inmate

Calling all Angels

Media Shelf

bookshelf

E-mail your reviews, comments, and suggestions:

melissabee@adoptaninmate.org

We recommend all of these, but start with staff favorites, in yellow

Articles

Audio

     The Story – Radio series about incarceration:

Books

Film

  • After Innocence – This documentary, produced by a former Innocence Project clinic student, focuses on the DNA exonerations of seven wrongfully convicted men. It received the 2005 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize. Visit the film website, watch it instantly on Netflix, buy it on Amazon.
  • At The Death House Door – Chronicles the extraordinary journey of Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous “Walls” prison unit in Huntsville.
  • The Central Park Five – In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and charged with brutally attacking and raping a white female jogger in Central Park. News media swarmed the case, calling them a “wolfpack.” The five would spend years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit before the truth about what really happened became clear.
    Watch instantly on Netflix or iTunes or purchase the DVD or Blue-Ray at Shop PBS.
  • Conviction – Tells the true story of a woman’s fight to prove her brother’s innocence. Watch instantly on Netflix or buy a DVD on Amazon.com.
  • The House I Live In – Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs.
  • The Hurricane – The story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence. Watch now or buy a DVD on Amazon.com.
  • In the Name of the Father – This Oscar-nominated film tells the true story of a Gerry Conlon’s coerced confession to an IRA bombing he didn’t do; and a British lawyer’s fight to free Conlon and his father. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite. Watch instantly or buy the DVD at Amazon.
  • Kids for Cash – A riveting look behind the notorious scandal that rocked the nation and sent one judge to prison for 28 years.
  • Murder on a Sunday Morning – This 2001 Oscar-winning documentary follows the defense in a murder trial of an African American teenager wrongly accused of robbing and murdering a white tourist in Florida. The film focuses on racism and misconduct in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Buy a DVD at Amazon.com.
  • Scenes of a Crime – Explores a nearly 10-hour interrogation that culminates in a disputed confession, and an intense, high-profile child murder trial in New York state. Watch instantly on iTunes, Vimeo or Distrify. DVD copies are also available for educators, libraries and legal practitioners.
  • The Thin Blue Line – Errol Morris’ award-winning 1988 documentary presents compelling evidence that Randall Adams was wrongfully convicted of killing a police officer in Dallas, Texas. Watch instantly at Netflix, buy a DVD or watch now at Amazon.com.
  • The Trials of Darryl Hunt – (2006) Break Thru Films’ documentary about Darryl Hunt’s decades-long fight for justice after being wrongfully convicted of rape and murder. The film follows Hunt’s multiple appeals and chronicles the police misconduct that contributed to the 20 years he spent in prison for a crime he did not commit. The film was on the short listed for a 2006 Academy Award for best documentary. Click here for to view a trailer. Watch instantly on Netflix or visit the film’s website.
  • An Unreal Dream – In 1986 Michael Morton’s wife Christine is brutally murdered in front of their only child, and Michael is convicted of the crime. Locked away in Texas prisons for a quarter century, he has years to ponder questions of justice and innocence, truth and fate. Though he is virtually invisible to society, a team of dedicated attorneys spends years fighting for the right to test DNA evidence found at the murder scene. Their discoveries ultimately reveal that the price of a wrongful conviction goes well beyond one man’s loss of freedom. Buy the DVD or watch on Netflix or iTunes.

PDFs

TV

   48 Hours (CBS)

  • Grave Injustice  Convicted of murder and sentenced to death — 16 years later students help set Anthony Graves free.

   60 Minutes Episodes (CBS)

  • Eyewitness: How Accurate is Visual Memory? – The case of Ronald Cotton, who was wrongfully incarcerated for over ten years for a brutal rape and burglary he did not commit. Part 1
  • ‘Eyewitness: How Accurate is Visual Memory?’ Part 2

   Court TV

  • The Exonerated (2005) – Film version of the award-winning Off-Broadway play features the stories of six people who were exonerated after being sentenced to death. The cast includes Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover and Aidan Quinn. Watch instantly on Netflix, Buy a DVD on Amazon.
  • The Interrogation of Michael Crowe (2002) – Focuses on a 14-year-old California boy who was targeted by police investigating the murder of his 12-year-old sister. Police aggressively interrogated Michael Crowe and ultimately coerced a false confession from him. This film won a Peabody Award and an American Bar Association award for its thoughtful handling of false confessions and the need to record interrogations.  
  • Stories of the Innocence Project Series – Programs include: Marvin Anderson’s Nightmare (2004); A Life Stolen (2004); Confessions of an Innocent Man (2005); What’s in a Name? (2005); Fingered with a Print (2005); Broken Words (2006); Unforgettable Face (2006)
    This TV series “opens up the files” from the Innocence Project and takes an inside look at the stories of Innocence Project clients who were able to triumph in their fight for freedom, while highlighting key mistakes and causes for their wrongful convictions. Each episode is an hour long. Featured exonerees include: Bruce Godschalk, Marvin Anderson, Eddie Joe Lloyd, Jimmy Ray Bromgard, Dennis Fritz, Stephan Cowans and Anthony Michael Green.
  • The System – The Wrong Man? (2001-2003) A series of specials investigating possible wrongful convictions. Features Edward Lee Elmore, who was convicted of murdering an elderly woman in South Carolina, and includes an interview with Barry Scheck. Other episodes investigate the cases of Marty Tankleff, Dennis Dechaine and Henry “Fred” Chichester.

   CNN

  • Death Row Stories – Explores cases that pose hard questions about the U.S. capital punishment system.

   Frontline (PBS)

  • Burden of Innocence (2003) – This look into the lives of five men who served years in prison for crimes they did not commit reveals the social, economic, and psychological challenges that people face post-exoneration.
  • The Child Cases (2011) – An investigation by NPR, ProPublica and Frontline into more than 20 wrongful conviction cases involving faulty forensics in accidental child deaths.
  • The Confessions (2010) – An award-winning documentary on the case of the “Norfolk Four” – Navy sailors convicted of a murder they didn’t commit after giving false confessions under pressure.
  • Death by Fire (2010) – Examines the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire that killed his three young daughters 13 years earlier. He always claimed his innocence, and the arson investigation used to convict him was questioned by leading experts before Willingham was executed. Since 2004, further evidence in the case has led to the inescapable conclusion that Willingham did not set the fire for which he was executed.
  • Innocence Lost (1991) – Ofra Bikel’s three-part documentary raised serious questions about evidence in a notorious North Carolina day care abuse case.
  • Requiem for Frank Lee Smith (2002) – An investigation by Ofra Bikel into Frank Lee Smith’s wrongful conviction of the rape and murder of a young girl.
  • What Jennifer Saw (1997) – An examination of flaws in eyewitness identifications as evidence, through the lens of the case of Ronald Cotton, who served 12 years in North Carolina prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

   Lifetime

  • The Wronged Man (2010) Calvin Willis was released from Louisiana State Penitentiary after more than 21 years of wrongful incarceration. The film focuses on Willis’ relationship with his longtime advocate, Janet Gregory, a single mom and paralegal, and her critical role in his exoneration. Visit the film website, Watch instantly on Netflix, Buy a DVD on Amazon.

   PrimeTime (ABC)

  • False Confessions (2006) – Focuses on the phenomenon of false confessions and interrogation tactics that can lead people to admit to crimes they did not commit. Includes the cases of John Restivo, Dennis Halstead and John Kogut, who were exonerated through DNA evidence in New York.

Online Video

Miscellaneous

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