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November 20, 2014

Hoping to help Kickstart a notable new death penalty documentary

I am eager to promote widely an important film project from some folks in London focused on modern US death penalty stories. (I am partial to the project in part because one of my former students, Allen Bohnert, OSU Moritz College of Law grad ('06), is one key subject being documented in his role as current lead counsel in the long-running Section 1983 litigation over Ohio's lethal injection protocols.)

This notable project is still in production, and the filmmakers are currently fundraising for financial support to help allow them to finish filming.  The Kickstarter campaign is available here; lots of interesting items are available (such as signed copies of Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy, one-off pieces of art and the film itself) for any donation over $25.  I have been told that they will not be able to effectively finish this film without additional help for further funding.

The film itself is titled The Penalty, and it is to be a 90-minute feature documentary examining the current state of America's capital punishment system.  While some other documentaries have focused on death row stories through the lens of condemned prisoners, this film is focused more on people involved not on the row: lawyers, family members, politicians, campaigners, law enforcement, and others. A snippet from some filming so far is available at www.thepenaltyfilm.com.

I understand that the filmmakers have been particularly focused on following (1) my former student, Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Ohio Allen Bohnert, through Ohio's problematic execution of Dennis McGuire and its fallout, and (2) Louisiana death row exoneree Damon Thibodeaux as he tries to put his life back together after his wrongful conviction and later exoneration. I believe the filmakers are also incorporating lots of other characters from the capital punishment universe, including many experts in the field such as Debby Denno, Jeanne Woodford, David Dow, Kathryn Kase, Peter Neufeld, Richard Dieter and Clive Stafford-Smith.

Finally, I have been told that anyone has any ideas on stories that the filmmakers should look at, or have ideas for people they should be sure to talk to (e.g., grant-giving foundations, media outlets, campaign groups), they filmakers are eager to spread their network far and wide, and you can pass on ideas by emailing laura@reelnice.co.uk or will@reelnice.co.uk.

Cross-posted at PrawfsBlawg.

November 20, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Please, let me know of any documentary showing the protection of vicious predators by the lawyer so they may commit 5 million violent felonies a year, including the torture and slaughter of 1000's of innocent people. This lawyer propaganda above is morally reprehensible. If I had a former student like yours, I would want to beat him with a stick.

He is a disgusting human being, defending the indefensible, lying to himself that he is defending the constitution, and not all those illegal alien drug gangs beheading people who offend them. He is just obstructing justice with false legal arguments, catered to by other disgusting human beings on the appellate bench. We spend $billions killing ISIS people because they beheaded a few white Americans. Meanwhile the lawyer does nothing about the hundreds of serial killers trolling our roads for little girls.

Then, when you have a guy, the lawyer spends $billions delaying his execution with totally pretextual, crazy arguments. Your student is protecting killers and generating $billions in worthless costs to the taxpayer. He is lower in morality than his clients.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 21, 2014 9:51:27 AM

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