Crime after Crime

Yoav Potash

Camera Justitia

Californian woman Deborah Peagler was sentenced to life in prison for her involvement in the murder of her abusive boyfriend. After spending nearly a quarter of a century in prison, a new law offers hope of early parole. Two inexperienced lawyers take on her case, and discover corruption and political manoeuvring.

In 1983, Afro-American woman Deborah Peagler from California was sentenced to life in prison for her involvement in the murder of the man who severely abused her and acted as her pimp. After she has spent over 20 years in incarceration, California introduces new state legislation that makes it possible to reopen cases of women in prison who entered the justice system due to domestic violence. Two inexperienced lawyers take on Peagler’s case on a pro bono basis, assuming that the new law would allow them to arrange a quick pardon for their client. What they had not taken into account was that corrupt, politically motivated authorities would have every incentive to block her release. What follows is a fight against a bureaucratic monster of obstinate injustice, as the clock ticks on. The absurd and dramatic plot twists and the willpower and dedication of the three main characters make this an exciting and disarming story.

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Credits

Director
Yoav Potash
Country
United States
Type
Documentary
Duration
94 minutes
Themes
courts & tribunals, transitional justice, domestic violence, human rights defenders & organizations (Activist), prison & detention, women & gender
Year
2011