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New Round of Death Penalty Docs Seek to Raise Awareness, Completion Funds

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik December 5, 2011 at 10:05AM

Time may not have run out for Kirk Bloodsworth, who was wrongfully convicted of rape and murder and spent 9 years in prison, two of which he faced execution. DNA evidence exonerated him. But time is running out for "Bloodsworth: An Innocent Man," Gregory Bayne's documentary portrait of the man (pictured) and his story of criminal injustice: If the project doesn't raise another $3,000 on Kickstarter by 5pm today, it will lose the $22,000 it has already raised.
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Time may not have run out for Kirk Bloodsworth, who was wrongfully convicted of rape and murder and spent 9 years in prison, two of which he faced execution. DNA evidence exonerated him. But time is running out for "Bloodsworth: An Innocent Man," Gregory Bayne's documentary portrait of the man (pictured) and his story of criminal injustice: If the project doesn't raise another $3,000 on Kickstarter by 5pm today, it will lose the $22,000 it has already raised.

"I would like this film to be a standard bearer of what it's like to be a person who has been wrongfully convicted in the United States," says Bloodsworth. "The death penalty is an atrocious monster that eats people up indiscriminately."

It's been a strong year for documentaries taking issue with America's inadequate criminal justice system and the dangers of capital punishment.

There has been Joe Bailey, Jr. and Steve Mims's "Incendiary" which I've written about previously on this blog, as well as Werner Herzog's new film "Into the Abyss" and Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's final "Paradise Lost" documentary, which eventually helped contribute to the vindication of Damien Echols from death row, who along with Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr.-- a.k.a. "the West Memphis Three" -- were wrongly convicted of murder.

And now comes word that Peter Jackson has also finished a doc on the West Memphis Three. “It is our hope that this film will help educate people about how badly the justice system can fail us all,"  Echols said in a press release. "But beyond that, we want to show that in the face of such horror, in the face of resounding grief and pain, you cannot give up. You must never give up.”

As Bloodsworth says in a video on the project's Kickstarter site: "Stand up for who you are and what you want."

This article is related to: Human Rights