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Exclusive: Pernel Media examines “20 Years on Death Row”

Paris-based indie Pernel Media has acquired an exclusive access agreement to produce a true crime docuseries featuring California death row inmate Keith Doolin. 20 Years on Death Row examines the case ...
November 15, 2016

Paris-based indie Pernel Media has acquired an exclusive access agreement to produce a true crime docuseries featuring California death row inmate Keith Doolin.

20 Years on Death Row examines the case of the former long distance truck driver (pictured) who was convicted in the 1995 slayings of two women. Incarcerated on death row for more than 20 years in San Quentin State Prison, 20 miles north of San Francisco, Doolin has maintained his innocence.

His conviction followed a “bizarre series of twists” in which his original attorney – later disbarred – led a flawed defense of Doolin while gambling away his defense funds in Las Vegas casinos, as well as a witness – who has since committed suicide – who revealed crucial information that points to Doolin’s innocence.

An execution date has never been set, and more than two decades after being convicted, Doolin is still in limbo, going through California’s capital appeals system.

Doolin’s attorney’s claim to have uncovered credible key evidence slated to exonerate the convicted killer and set him free within months. On Nov. 8, however, state voters elected to speed up the death penalty process, hastening judgments on whether the newly discovered evidence can be used in court.

Pernel Media secured access to the case via Doolin’s defense attorney Robert R. Bryan, a specialist in human-rights litigation with an emphasis on defending people facing the death penalty.

“The case of Keith Doolin is a story like no other, pointing to a major miscarriage of justice where the stakes for him could not be higher,” said Pernel Media president Samuel Kissous in a statement. “The new evidence that has come to light could change everything. Keith’s appeal process and detailed investigation of the case will make a gripping documentary series.”

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.

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