Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Adapted by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen from their own off-Broadway play, The Exonerated dramatizes the real-life stories of six innocent citizens who spent anywhere from three to 20 years on death row until DNA testing proved that they had all been falsely convicted. Each of the six stories is related in the first person, using free-flowing flashbacks to highlight selected events. Some critics felt that, by using such A-list actors as Susan Sarandon, Aidan Quinn, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, and Delroy Lindo to play the unfairly condemned protagonists, the text of the original play was thrown off balance; this may be the reason why the relatively unknown David Brown Jr., cast as the sixth main character, received some of the best reviews. In the tradition of Schindler's List, the actual people whose experiences are enacted in the film show up on camera for the final scene. Directed by veteran Broadway and Hollywood actor Bob Balaban (Seinfeld, A Mighty Wind), The Exonerated was produced for the Court TV cable channel, and was first broadcast on January 27, 2005.
crime, death-row, dignity, punishment