North Texas Daily

The Dose: ‘True Conviction’ is a must-see, emotional crime documentary

The Dose: ‘True Conviction’ is a must-see, emotional crime documentary

The Dose: ‘True Conviction’ is a must-see, emotional crime documentary
April 23
16:04 2017

Abby Jones | Staff Writer

Chris Scott spent 13 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit, until the actual killer confessed in 2009.

Johnnie Lindsey and Steven Phillips wound up in similar situations before each of the three men were exonerated. Combined, they wrongfully spent decades in jail for their life charges. After they were released, they decided that the best way to spend their freedom was to save innocent men from spending the rest of their lives in prison.

“True Conviction” tells the story of Scott, Lindsey and Phillips as they form an investigation team — the House of Renewed Hope — to give freedom to those who deserve it. It was shown at Campus Theatre at 9 p.m. Saturday as a part of the Thin Line Festival.

“Being out of prison is one of the small things I cherish,” Scott said in the film.

Throughout the course of the true crime documentary, Scott, Lindsey and Phillips speak to a number of attorneys as well as a false confession specialist as they focus on two cases of wrongfully incarcerated men in Dallas County.

The audience is given an as-personal-as-possible look into the lives of the two men whom House of Renewed Hope aimed to exonerate in the film. We are revealed the reality of violence, self-medication and even rape behind bars. We face the twists and turns as one of the three men messes up and lands himself back in jail. We attend a funeral and a wedding. We also get an intimate look at Scott’s personal life, meeting his grandson as well as seeing his reaction when his son is arrested and taken to the same jail Scott was in years ago.

“True Conviction” goes where few documentaries have gone in terms of including the investigative process and the emotion of House of Renewed Hope’s mission. The job Scott has given himself is tedious, exhausting and often discouraging, but his resilience is indisputable in the film, making audience members want to cheer him on as he fights for his cause.

With a record-setting 166 Texas exonerations in 2016, it looks like Scott is having some success.

After the screening of the film, producer David Alvarado took the stage at Campus Theatre to answer audience questions. He revealed that four cases were actually followed in the five-year filming process, although only two of those made it into the film.

“We just want to show that there are local heroes here in your backyard,” Alvarado said.

Whether true crime stories get you excited or not, “True Conviction” is a must-see documentary, filled with as many happy tears as sad ones. It was without a doubt a highlight of the 2017 Thin Line Festival.

Featured Image: “True Conviction” follows a grassroots investigation team that looks into cases of wrongful convictions within the Dallas metroplex. Thin Line Festival.

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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