On May 7, 2000, in the parking lot of the Ramada Inn in Jacksonville, Florida, 65-year-old Mary Ann Stephens is shot in the head. Ninety minutes later, 15-year-old Brenton Butler is arrested. For the investigators and the media it's just another messed-up youth throwing away his life and the life of his victim. The French documentary about the trial of a black American teenager accused of robbing and murdering an elderly white tourist follows the teen's defense team as they build a case that shows ineptitude and prejudice on the part of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
When the case for the defense comes into the hands of Patrick McGuinness and Ann Finnell of the public defenders office, the story ceases to be quite so ordinary. The boy proclaims his innocence. He has bruises on his face and thorax. He says that the detectives beat him up and forced a confession out of him. Everyone - police, media and public opinion - is ready to sentence Brenton Butler in advance, but Patrick McGuinness Ann Finnell begin a battle to restore their client's rights and to point an accusing finger at those he considers to be the real culprits: detectives Williams, Glover and Darnell.
Dick chose this case because it exposes the fallacy of eyewitness identification and the truth of false confessions. I was moved to share a discussion after I cried at the end. Visit us at http://tiegrabber.com/index.php/true-crime-brewery/ to learn more and to subscribe for as little as $2/month. We are also on Patreon.com. All 5 star reviews received on iTunes earn a shout out on a future episode!
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