A decade after “Capturing the Friedmans” was nominated for an Academy Award, the fiilmmakers are now working to overturn the alleged wrongful conviction of Jesse Friedman, one of the main subjects of the controversial film, who served nearly 14 years in prison. Next Tuesday, on March 5th, the filmmakers will preview new evidence at a special screening in New York before it’s made public, followed by a discussion with director Andrew Jarecki and Jesse Friedman, as well as criminal defense and civil rights attorney Ron Kuby.
The filmmakers have created a website, justiceforjesse.com, which includes a four-and-half minute trailer that offers a glimpse into some of the new proof that Jarecki and his crew have stumbled on, including what appears to be a rash of coerced witness confessions from the time of Friedman’s arrest and conviction for child sex abuse crimes.
According to a statement on the website, the filmmakers claim “there was never a shred of physical or medical evidence these crimes occurred” and “police threatened or rewarded small children to elicit false testimony, and the judge in the case admitted there was ‘never a doubt in [her] mind as to their guilt’ despite never having seen any evidence.”
“After viewing the evidence, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, ruled that there was a ‘reasonable likelihood [Jesse Friedman] was wrongfully convicted,’ and his ‘guilty plea was coerced.’ After years of collecting and reviewing every available piece of evidence, we remain compelled to speak out against this wrongful conviction and to overturn it.”