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Crime After Crime (2011)

Deborah Peagler , Joshua Safran , Yoav Potash  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Deborah Peagler, Joshua Safran, Nadia Costa, Yoav Potash, Bobby Buechler
  • Directors: Yoav Potash
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006UTDF8O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,920 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

CRIME AFTER CRIME tells the dramatic story of the legal battle to free Debbie Peagler, a woman imprisoned for over a quarter century due to her connection to the murder of the man who abused her.

Her story takes an unexpected turn two decades later when two rookie attorneys, with no background in criminal law, step forward to take her case. Through their perseverance, they bring to light long-lost witnesses, new testimonies from the men who committed the murder, and proof of perjured evidence. Their investigation ultimately attracts global attention to victims of wrongful incarceration and abuse, and takes on profound urgency when Debbie is diagnosed with cancer. Filming in and out of prison for over five years, filmmaker Yoav Potash methodically documented this story as it unfolded. With exclusive access to Debbie Peagler and her attorneys, CRIME AFTER CRIME tells an unforgettable story of a relentless quest for justice.


"A must-see film." --Los Angeles Times

"Harrowing, moving and inspiring." --The Washington Post

"Magnificent" --The New York Times

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I was recently looking for a good movie to watch at my local library and stumbled upon this documentary. Not knowing anything more than what I read on the DVD jacket, I decided to to a chance on this. I'm glad I did.

"Crime After Crime" (2011 release; 93 min.) brings the case of Debbie Peagler, an African-American woman convicted in 1983 of murdering her abusive boyfriend. She was sentenced to 25 years-to-life. As the movie starts, we meet two lawyers who take her case pro-bono almost 20 years later to re-examine the facts of the case. Pretty soon it is clear that Peagler was the victim of "women battered syndrome" and should never have been prosecuted for murder, and furthermore that the Los Angeles District Attorney's office made some horrendous mistakes and probably (likely) violated her rights as a defender by withholding evidence. When presented with those facts by the pro-bono lawyers, the DA sends a letter to the attorneys, offering to reduce the crime to voluntary manslaughter (which carries a 6 year prison term), effectively freeing Peagler when the deal is sealed. At that point we are just half-way into the movie, so what more can be told for the second half of the movie? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: this movie was shot, produced and directed over a 5+ year period by Yoav Potash and his crew, and what a labor of love and endurance it became. I must admit that during the first 45 min. of the movie, this looked to be a very "TV-like" 20/20 story, but the second half of the movie is just riveting and will equally enrage and move you. Kudos to the two California pro-bono lawyers who spent countless hours, days, months and years taking up Peagler's case.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Documentary February 9, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A heartbreaking story of a battered, African American woman trapped in an unjust criminal justice system. In spite of countless setbacks, Deborah Peagler remains strong and selfless, with an unwavering spirit. Debbie's legal team becomes family to her in an emotional battle to save her and other incarcerated survivors of domestic violence. A truly moving and unforgettable film.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars eye opening January 17, 2012
By 2222
i viewed this film earlier this year and it is a bomb shell of information on the injustice of the legal system, it should be seen by every law student and incorporated into the curriculum . It's a sad situation that has a bitter sweet ending.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, I didn't find this story shocking September 27, 2013
By JesseP
Format:Amazon Instant Video
As an attorney practicing law for 24 years, and as the daughter of a civil rights and criminal law attorney, this film recounts a common story which society too often chooses to ignore. It appears to me that Deborah was released from jail by the parole board because of the publicity the case got through the Los Angeeles Times (a newspaper that does wonderful investigative reporting) and because her pro bono attorneys tenaciously represented her. They were under tremendous pressure to release her from jail. In addition, the "Terminator" could have waived the 30 day appeal period and shown some compassion for her (though apparently he had none for his wife). There was never any adjudication that the DA's office acted improperly (of course they did, but it appears that they were disqualified because of a conflict of interest - i.e. they were subject to being sued for misconduct) and the court never made a ruling on whether the plea offer was enforceable or whether there was any credible evidence to support the case against Deborah. This may seem like semantics but the problem with a situation like this is that it does not set a legal precedent for future cases. The other, probably more important problem, is that DAs and prosecutors continue to engage in misconduct no matter how many times they are exposed of wrongdoing. The attorneys seem somewhat naive to an old goat like myself who is probably jaded by decades of seeing the same thing happen over and over again.

The pro bono attorneys are also quite gracious in that they never mention that Deborah probably had inadequate representation at the trial level. Discovery is supposed to be conducted as part of an original investigation, not 25 years after the alleged offense was committed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting true story August 22, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this documentary on OWN and was so intrigued I ordered it to let my ladies group see it. Got it very quickly, and in excellent condition.
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