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After Innocence

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Feb 06, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After Innocence tells the dramatic and compelling story of the exonerated - innocent men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence. Focusing on the gripping stories of seven men, including a police officer, an army sergeant and a young father that were sent to prison for decades – in some cases death row – for crimes they did not commit, After Innocence explores the emotional journeys these men face when thrust back into society with little or no support from the system that put them behind bars. While the public views exonerations as success stories - wrongs that have been righted - After Innocence shows that the human toll of wrongful imprisonment can last far longer than the sentences served, raising basic questions about human rights and society’s moral obligation to the exonerated by placing a spotlight on the flaws in our criminal justice system that lead to wrongful conviction of the innocent.

For an innocent man exonerated by newly found DNA evidence, release from prison is only the beginning. Shattered lives aren't so quickly pieced back together with a wave of a judge's gavel. After Innocence, a moving and unforgettable documentary, follows the lives of several "exonerees" freed after years--sometimes decades--of wrongful imprisonment for rape or sexual assault. Some of the men have used the opportunity to truly start over--get degrees, forge a new career, rebuild family ties. Others remain broken and bewildered by a judicial system that let them down. And, as one of the exonerees notes, there's nothing in place to assist people wrongly convicted, while there are a host of benefits available to convicts who are out on parole. There are many touching moments in the film, especially showing how the exonerees have banded together in a loose support group; while nothing will ever be the same for any of these men, their recognition for what each other has been though is sometimes enough for them to feel that they can face another day. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

  • Interviews with the filmmakers
  • Deleted scenes and bonus footage
  • Pearl Jam performance with two exonerees
  • Updates on the lives on the film's exonerees
  • Footage from the Sundance premiere, MTV, Larry King Live, and the theatrical premiere
  • Media/press footage
  • Website and contact information
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Scott Hornoff, Ronald Cotton, Nick Yarris, Wilton Dedge, Herman Atkins, Vincent Moto, Dennis Maher Calvin Willis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New Yorker
  • DVD Release Date: February 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KJU1E6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,706 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "After Innocence" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this movie in a theater, when it debuted in Los Angeles. I estimate there were between 100 and 150 people in the audience. It would hardly be fair to say the event was a movie debut, without pointing out that the movie debut also appeared to be an event actively showcasing the cause of the wrongly convicted. The movie, in my opinion, was excellent and showed the lives of a number of men who had been wrongly convicted of crimes, most involving charges of rape. The men talked about:

# their lives before their convictions,

# what circumstances led to their convictions,

# what their lives were like in jail,

# their struggle to be freed by DNA evidence,

# what their lives were like after exoneration.

Many of the exonerated were struggling to receive compensation for their unjust treatment, and most were struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives after being devastated by the inhumanity of America's legal system. The callousness of the system appeared frequently, while apologies for errors were few and far between. It was difficult to sit through the movie without feeling anger toward the cruelty and injustice America's legal system brought into the lives of these men. It was apparent from the reactions of others in the audience I was not alone in my feelings.

The movie was edited so that it also included the struggles of Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld and others in the Innocence Project as they worked to free the wrongly convicted. At one point in the movie a volunteer showed bundle after bundle of letters (from prisoners), in filing cabinets that staff had not even had the resources to open yet. It was an appalling site, considering the perilous existence of some DNA evidence in "official" storage.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having lived in Brevard County, Florida, where Wilton Dedge was exonerated, and having experienced traumatic exchanges with some of the parties involved in his wrongful conviction and his delayed exoneration, I have the unfortunate ability to rate Jessica Sander's directorship from a personal standpoint. After Innocence took the high road; Ms. Sanders could have revealed there was a prior Brevard exoneree, Juan Ramos, who served five years due to the testimony of the bogus "sniffing dog" handler who testified against Dedge, and mentioned that another likely wrongful Brevard conviction (partly based on the dog) is on the Innocence Project's radar. While both these men's stories are as important as Wilton Dedge's, they could have taken the film into the realm of appearing to be a cinematic indictment of Brevard County, detracting from the stories of the exonerees from other locations. I encourage those who purchase the DVD to watch the Special Features, not only to extend the great feeling the film leaves them with, but so they'll be inspired to support the Innocence Project until every state learns the right way to say they're sorry for wrongful imprisonments. While I'm grateful that the film thoroughly educates potential jurors, one aspect I wish Ms. Sanders had been hit hard on is that voters nationwide can give elected public servants that don't care about innocence -- governors, legislators, D.A.'s -- the opportunity to find a new line of work for which they're better suited.
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Format: DVD
to put it simply, this film is a STUNNING jaw-dropper. it is by far one of the best films i have seen in decades, not because of great film-making techniques, but simply because of its incredibly powerful content. highly worth your time to see the how and why our (U.S.) justice system so consistently malfunctions and to see the wide swath of lives it ravages in the process.

but this is a truly hopeful film, as it shows many exonerees who, after being freed, have risen above the horrors of being imprisoned for 10, 20 years for committing no crime at all; and it shows many of those in the innocence project who make enormous sacrifices of time, effort, and money to save innocent people from the hell of unjust imprisonment and death.
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Format: DVD
After Innocence exposes the very real, often overlooked problem of people wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. These people are mostly male; some of them were on death row or serving time without parole before DNA evidence proved years later that they could not have committed the crime with which they had been charged. Director Jessica Sanders does a marvelous job with this documentary; we get to see many people who have been freed from prison and even death row through the efforts of The Innocence Project, a legal clinic founded by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld in 1992 at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. The documentary tells the stories of these men in very personal, poignant ways; and even the hardest of hearts will be moved by their stories. Remarkably, these men aren't particularly sour about their experience; they merely want to reconstruct their lives as quickly as possible. The fact that they have lost time with their loved ones really is painful to explore but it's critical to understanding their experience. We also learn that often these people were put in prison based primarily on eyewitness accounts, which, according to attorney Barry Scheck, is essentially what the courts go on in 78% of criminal cases despite the fact the scientific research shows that eyewitness accounts are not reliable ways to determine the identity of a person, especially in a heated and emotional crisis like a woman's memory of the man who harmed her, for example.

There are many details of each man's story in this film; but there are certain similarities about them that I can explore here to help you determine if you want to watch this film.
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