Netflix has ordered a docuseries titled “The Innocence Files,” Variety has learned exclusively.
The hour-long episodes detail the personal stories behind eight cases of wrongful conviction that the Innocence Project and organizations within the Innocence Network have worked to highlight and overturn. The series is broken down into three parts — The Evidence, The Witness, and The Prosecution. The subjects of the series will be Chester Hollman III, Kenneth Wyniemko, Alfred Dewayne Brown, Thomas Haynesworth, Franky Carrillo, Levon Brooks, Kennedy Brewer, and Keith Harward.
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The entire nine-episode season will debut on Netflix on April 15.
“We are thrilled to be part of the groundbreaking Netflix series, ‘The Innocence Files,'” said Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck, Innocence Project co-founders and special counsel of the Innocence Project. “This is truly important television. Each episode reveals–step by step–how the American criminal justice system gets it wrong. These stories feature people whose freedom was stolen because of governments’ reliance on junk science, discredited and suggestive eyewitness identification procedures, and prosecutors who engage in misconduct to win at any cost. We hope these stories motivate people to take action. There are tried and tested reforms that will improve the system to make it more fair and just. Countless innocent people endure unspeakable suffering in maximum security prisons and death row for crimes they didn’t commit. These miscarriages of justice extend a circle of pain and trauma that embraces families, communities, and even victims of crime. We must do better.”
Celebrated documentary filmmakers Liz Garbus, Alex Gibney, Roger Ross Williams, Jed Rothstein, Andy Grieve, and Sarah Dowland all serve as directors on “The Innocence Files.” Garbus will executive produce via Story Syndicate along with Dan Cogan. Gibney will executive produce for Jigsaw Productions as will Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, and Brad Hebert. Williams will executive produce under the One Story Up banner with Geoff Martz. Will Staeger and Michael Antinoro of Film 45 will also executive produce. Neufeld and Scheck will serve as consulting executives on the series.
“It’s a true honor to work with three of the world’s most celebrated documentarians – Liz Garbus, Alex Gibney and Roger Ross Williams – who developed ‘The Innocence Files,’ a deeply compelling series that explores the blurred lines between justice and injustice,” said Adam Del Deo, Netflix’s vice president of original documentary features. “We’re incredibly grateful to Innocence Project co-founders Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck for their guidance and trust, and for the opportunity to highlight their valiant work.”
Netflix has found great success with true crime docuseries over the past few years, starting with the critically-acclaimed “Making a Murderer.” Since then, the streamer has aired other such shows like “The Keepers” and “Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist,” and more recent entries like”The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez,” “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,” and “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.”
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