Film screening to explore post-prison lives of wrongly convicted individuals

Posted by er134 at Oct 25, 2017 10:29 AM |
Screening of BBC documentary ‘Fallout’ and panel discussion with the director, Paddy Hill and Robert Brown to take place on Monday 30 October at the University of Leicester

Issued by the University of Leicester on 25 October 2017

Media opportunity: Director Mark Mc Loughlin and exonerees Paddy Hill and Robert Brown will be available for interviews after the event. Contact Alan Desmond alan.desmond@le.ac.uk / Olivia Hamlyn olivia.hamlyn@le.ac.uk to arrange

For its inaugural screening Reel Law, Leicester Law School’s film club, is holding a free public screening of BBC documentary ‘Fallout’ and a panel discussion with the film’s director and two of the featured exonerated prisoners. The event will take place at the University of Leicester on Monday 30 October.

The documentary is based on the post-prison lives of four high profile exonerees who were sentenced to death or life – Paddy Hill (UK, Birmingham), Robert Brown (UK), Sunny Jacobs (USA/Ireland) and Peter Pringle (Ireland).

The screening in the University’s Attenborough Film Theatre, forms part of a wider campaign ‘Say I’m Innocent’ for long-serving, exonerated prisoners.

Mark Mc Loughlin, the film’s director, said: “Following their release from prison, exonerees face an unfamiliar world with no services or support of any kind available to them. Many of them end up in a legal limbo with little hope of compensation or real justice.”

“The most important immediate needs for those affected are medical issues, mental health issues, housing, job support etc. Longer term needs include extended mental therapy and long term treatment of medical conditions. As the campaign gains momentum we will aim to meet with the relevant Ministers to instigate change and this campaign will also go to the European Parliament.”

Mc Loughlin will be joined by will be joined by Paddy Hill (Birmingham Six, 17 years) and Robert Brown (25 years) who will give presentations following the screening, along with two experts from the University of Leicester – Dr Lisa Smith from the Department of Criminology and Charlotte Walsh from the Law School, who said: “We have been running a Miscarriages of Justice Project as part of our Pro Bono activities in Leicester Law School for a number of years. The project offers an invaluable opportunity for students to work on real-world cases, offering assistance to prisoners who claim that they are factually innocent, but have exhausted the traditional routes of appeal. This film screening and panel discussion are a useful complement to our ongoing work, revealing how the hardships faced by those who have been wrongfully imprisoned often continue far beyond their release, stimulating us to think about what can be done to mitigate such harms.”

The film screening and panel discussion will take place from 6pm – 8.30pm in the Attenborough Film Theatre, Attenborough Building at the University of Leicester, and will be followed by a drinks reception in the Harry Peach Library, Fielding Johnson Building. Registration for the event will start at 5.30pm.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about ‘Say I’m Innocent’ visit: http://sayiminnocent.com/

Ends

Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact the organisers of Reel Law, Leicester Law School lecturers Alan Desmond alan.desmond@le.ac.uk and Olivia Hamlyn olivia.hamlyn@le.ac.uk

 

Mark Mc Loughlin is a qualified journalist and sound engineer and is an accomplished musician and artist. He has worked in different facets of human rights, contemporary art, music and journalism for many years. He has produced many documentaries and his video art films have been shown throughout Europe and the USA. In recent years he has focussed specifically on the production of documentary films, a number of which have resulted in human rights campaigns.

Sunny Jacobs was sentenced to death, along with her then husband, for the murder of two police officers in Florida in 1976. While imprisoned, her husband was electrocuted and her two young children were cast into foster care following the death of her parents. Nearly 17 years after her arrest, her conviction was overturned on appeal. She never received any compensation and alongside her husband, Peter Pringle, set up the Sunny Center which helps other exonerees transition back into life upon release. Both Sunny and Peter also became advocates for human rights, campaigning worldwide against the death penalty.

Paddy Hill was one of the Birmingham Six, sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly planting a series of bombs in pubs around Birmingham in 1974, killing 21 and injuring 182. After serving 16 years his conviction was quashed by the UK Court of Appeal. He received compensation but quickly spent it trying to buy back the love of the family he had lost during his years inside. Every day he has to fight for the psychological help he so desperately needs, maintaining that he has been dehumanised. Driven by his intense desire to highlight and reduce instances of injustice and to offer the advice that exonerees need, he set up the ‘Miscarriages of Justice Organization’ (MOJO).

Robert Brown, barely out of his teens. was sentenced for murder in 1977, the victim of falsified police confessions. He was released 25 years later, after it was determined his verdict could not be considered safe. He was released just in time to watch his mother die and has spent the years since retreating from a world he doesn’t understand and feels doesn’t understand him, becoming consumed by his profound need for an apology from the state, and to see the corrupt police who brutalized him brought to justice.

Peter Pringle was one of the last men to be sentenced to hanging in Ireland, convicted of murdering two Gardaí in 1980. His death sentence was commuted to 40 years in prison. During his prison stay he discovered evidence of a blood sample of his that had not been examined in his trial. In 1995 he succeeded in an appeal against his conviction and since then met and married Sunny Jacobs with whom he lives with in the west of Ireland.

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