Netflix has been a leader in the true-crime renaissance, delivering multiple series shining a light on compelling criminal investigations. From "The Keepers" to "Making a Murderer," the streaming behemoth has provided a platform for telling the stories of people wronged, or allegedly wronged, by the criminal justice system. Netflix continues this tradition with their latest project, "The Innocent Man," a docu-series based on the book of the same title by John Grisham.
A trailer for the new show hints at the controversy faced by Ronald Keith Williamson, a former minor league baseball player who was wrongly convicted of the rape and murder of Debra Sue Carter and sentenced to death in 1988. Williamson would eventually be exonerated of his crimes 11 years after his sentencing thanks to the efforts of The Innocence Project, which conducted DNA tests that proved he wasn't guilty of the murder.
Williamson ultimately died in 2004 after being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, but not before filing a civil lawsuit against the Pontotoc County district attorney over the wrongful conviction and settling for an undisclosed amount of money, according to The Innocence Project.
Grisham's investigation into the crime was widely celebrated upon its release in 2006. Netflix announced the acquisition of the television rights on Nov. 19 of 2018 and Grisham has been an enthusiastic supporter of the project.
"The documentary series … is gripping, compelling, and ultimately just as heartbreaking as the book," Grisham said, according to The Wrap. "Though I know the story well, I can’t wait to watch it again.”
The first teaser for the six-part series shows harrowing testimony from Williamson and his family members and features both old and new footage pertaining to the case.
Check out the trailer below:
"The Innocent Man" is set to debut in full — as per Netflix tradition — on Dec. 14.
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