A new video that takes a peek into the Innocence Project of Texas’ (IPOT) inner sanctum, where they keep thousands of files from inmates making innocence claims. Today, IPOT has 500 active cases.
This is from a scene from the SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR, supported by Sundance | MacArthur and Chicken & Egg Pictures.
WHAT DO FRAN & DAN KELLER HAVE TO DO WITH THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR?
Read this stellar article by The Guardian to learn about how Fran & Dan languished in prison for 21 years for some of the most ridiculous allegations, including Satanic-related sexual abuse of children and ‘junk science’.
More by Tom Dart here.
Filming at TEXAS CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER ASSOCIATION Conference (TCDLA) —- Austin, Texas
The last few weeks we have been filming quite a bit, but one of my own highlights was attending the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Association’s annual conference in Austin.
One might imagine that verite documentarians attending a lecture where our main characters stand at a podium and do nothing more than gesture at a powerpoint presentation might appear a bit of a bore on screen, and normally you may be right. However, Jeff Blackburn and Mike Ware, exoneration attorneys in the San Antonio Four case, gave compelling and eye-opening speeches about the realities about a serious criminal justice concern called ‘Junk Science’. (Read more about what ‘Junk science’ is here.)
Thanks to Mike Ware & Jeff Blackburn and exonorees Billy Smith and Richard Smith (pictured above), who described their harrowing decades-long journey to be released from prison for crimes they never committed.
For those who believe in us, saying thank you is not enough.
Let me express to you why I say this. Years have come and gone. Birthdays, holidays, they passed us by.
We’ve had to learn to live life from on the inside for reasons that only God knows. The constant pain, loneliness and emptiness that lingers in our hearts, is so often replaced with the love, support, and determination the world has given in fighting for our innocence.
For all of this, we thank you. And because of all of you, we are able to survive to face each and every challenge from wherever we are at. Please know that our love and gratitude is never-ending.
Liz, Kristie, Anna, & Cassie
Watch the HD version of the documentary film teaser. It includes a behind-the-scenes recantation by the accuser, which is making headline news.
THE STORY: In 1997 and 1998 four Latina lesbians from San Antonio, Texas, were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 37 and 15 years of prison for allegedly sexually assaulting two young girls. There was no real evidence against them, but the diagnosis of so-called “satanic–related sexual abuse” and the belief that lesbianism predisposed them to the sexual abuse of little girls was highly influential in their trials. In 2012 one of the girls has come forth saying the incident never happened. Attorneys and advocates are working to exonerate these women.
GUESS WHO WAS PAROLED TODAY!!!! (And guess who was there to catch this momentous occasion on film?! Come to the screening in Austin on Nov. 15 and see the WHOLE THING on film!
Darrell Otto, Research Scientist in Yukon Territory, Canada, and the first individual to come forward to advocate on behalf of the women. Otto’s advocacy website, www.fourliveslost.com, includes letters, photos, and excerpts from the trials.
We encourage readers to visit Darrell’s site to see a nuanced narrative about why Otto believes the women are innocent.
Otto also wrote a personal narrative for the glossy magazine, Texas Monthly:
WATCH THE PROMO TRAILER
Four women languish in a Texas prison for a sex crime that attorneys & advocates believe may never have happened. A reinvestigation into this controversial San Antonio case.
See more: www.sanantoniofourmovie.com
a Blue Cabin Studios Production | Color HD | English & Spanish
Directed by: Deborah S. Esquenazi (www.deborahesquenazi.com)
Produced by: Elizabeth Tomasovic LaBarge