CNN has ordered “Death Row Stories,” a new eight-part original series from Alex Gibney and Robert Redford. Each episode of the series will unravel a different capital murder case, calling into question different beliefs about the death penalty and the justice system. Susan Sarandon, who won an Oscar for her role as death row minister Sister Helen Prejean in “Dead Man Walking,” will serve as narrator.
“The series provides stark examples of the struggle between the powerful and the powerless. The stakes — life or death — couldn’t be higher,” said the continually prolific Gibney, who heads to Sundance with new film “Finding Fela” this month. Gibney will executive produce the series alongside Redford and Sundance Productions partner Laura Michalchyshyn, Dave Snyder, Stacey Offman, and Brad Herbert.
“This series is about the search for justice and truth, we are pleased to be working with Alex Gibney to tell these important stories and give a voice to these cases,” said Redford.
The first episode of the series will air on Sunday, March 9th, and will focus on how Edward Lee Elmore, a 23-year-old African-American handyman, was charged with the murder of a well-to-do white woman in Greenwood, S.C., in 1982. The jury spent less than three hours deliberating before finding him guilty, and it wasn’t until legal intern Diana Holt began investigating his case that new evidence of his innocence emerged.
Sundance Productions has another series at CNN — the eight-part “Chicagoland,” from “Brick City” producers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin, was announced last year.