« Rules of engagement, ctd. | Main | Zick on public protest and Ferguson »

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hoping to help Kickstart a notable new death penalty documentary

I have not posted here in a long time, but I am eager now 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 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 Penaltyand 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 looks more closely at 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 the problematic execution of Dennis McGuire and its fallout, and (2) Louisiana death row exoneree Damon Thibodeaux as he puts his life back together after wrongful conviction and exoneration.  I believe they are also filming 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 if you have any ideas on stories that the filmmakers should look at, or have ideas of people they should talk to (e.g., grant-giving foundations, media outlets, campaign groups, or others), the filmmakers are looking to spread their network far and wide.  You can pass on ideas by emailing laura@reelnice.co.uk or will@reelnice.co.uk.

Cross-posted at Sentencing Law and Policy.

Posted by Douglas A. Berman on November 20, 2014 at 09:52 AM in Criminal Law, Film | Permalink

Comments

Post a comment