Synopsis by Mark Deming
In 1980, Clarence Brandley was an African-American janitor who was convicted of the murder of a 16-year-old white high school student in the city of Conroe, TX. James Keeshan, a powerful local prosecutor, handled the case and was able to obtain a death sentence against Brandley, even though the practical evidence against him was slim. Don Boney, a human rights activist from Houston, was convinced something was not quite right about the Brandley case, and persuaded young attorney Mike De Geurin to look into the matter. As De Geurin spent more time looking into the particulars of the case and Brandley's trial, he became convinced that an innocent man was on death row, and De Geurin and Boney began a campaign to uncover the truth behind the murder (and the plot to railroad Brandley) before Brandley faced the executioner. Whitewash: The Clarence Brandley Story is a made-for-cable movie based on Brandley's true story. Courtney Vance stars as Brandley, with Eamon Walker as Don Boney, and Gil Bellows as Mike De Geurin. The film premiered on the Showtime premium cable network on April 21, 2002.