After watching the “True Conviction” trailer I put my head down on my desk and cried. What a terrible story – wrongfully convicted men exonerated after decades in jail, having lost the chance to raise and help their children – and to develop as members of society. This nightmare juxtaposed by the love for humanity this team embodies, men who have refused to turn their backs on others wrongfully imprisoned by a brutal and oppressive penal system. They call themselves Freedom Fighters and are led by Christopher Scott. Tambay A. Obenson writes:
Christopher Scott was released from prison after serving 13 years of a life sentence for a murder he didn’t commit. This sounds like a nightmare, but it’s more common than you might think. 32 people like Chris have been exonerated in Dallas. Most of them are black men who were locked up in their youth and emerged in middle age looking for a way to make sense of what happened. One day at an exoneree support group meeting, an idea came to Chris: exonerees could become detectives, find other wrongfully convicted people sitting in prison, investigate their cases and prove their innocence. “I’m the go-getter, I’m the one that sets the standards, because I’m a leader – I lead by example.” Chris was recently named Texan of the Year by the Dallas Morning News.
In the film trailer, Scott points out that the typical police description of a black criminal makes it too easy to lock up the wrong man. “Mid age black guy, medium weight with a low haircut (might) describe half the black men, probably, in America.” He wants to know what can be done to get people out of prison who shouldn’t be there. Dallas DA Craig Watkins tells Chris and his colleagues they, “automatically have credibility,” with his office because as exonerees, they are living proof that the system is faulty and offers, “We want to work with you to get to the truth.”
Scott also meets and speaks with the man who actually committed the murder Scott was convicted for, who is clearly sorry for having taken those 13 years away from him. Scott has forgiven him, but cannot say thank you to him for coming forward. “Just believe, you destroyed a whole lot of lives that day,” he tells the man.
Afterwards, Scott comments, “As much as I paid for his weakness, he didn’t do this to me. It was men much more powerful than Alonzo … the justice system wronged me so much …”