In 2009, Timothy Hennis was recalled to active duty to face charges in a military court after his DNA matched a semen sample taken from one of the victims. He was convicted in April 2010 and sentenced to death. See more »
When the police lost the photographs, the defense lawyers could have asked for the negatives to make new prints. See more »
"Innocent Victims" is the story of what happens what the police decide on a suspect and set out to nail that particular suspect, becoming blind to any evidence that would raise doubt. For those who don't believe this can happen in the U.S., guess again - we just saw it in the Duke University case. Did the same thing happen in this case? It's up to you.
The young man here, Tim Hennis, is well played by a blond John Corbett as a man questioned and finally arrested for brutal murder of a woman and her two small children. He insists on his innocence, and his parents go to great lengths, including selling their home, and his father retiring early and getting only a partial pension, to help him prove it. When he is convicted and lands on Death Row, efforts are redoubled by his attorneys to get him a new trial and to find the real killer. This was a sensational case that resulted in a book and this TV movie.
One thing pointed up here is that the defendant agreed to be questioned by the police and submit to DNA testing without an attorney present. I think from seeing the film, people realize that it doesn't matter whether or not you are innocent of the crime, you should never, ever talk to the police without a lawyer, no matter what they tell you. They told this guy he wasn't a suspect and just wanted to talk to him. My sister works for the public defender. She says, don't fall for it. I know many people assume that if you bring a lawyer, you have nothing to hide, but that isn't true. A lawyer is there to protect your rights.
Hal Holbrook and Rue McClanahan are excellent as Tim's devoted parents, and Rick Shroeder does a terrific job as one of the lawyers trying to prove that Tim is not guilty. All of the acting is good. It's difficult for me to see lawyers depicted in such a positive light - I had a lawyer for something who did nothing and collected a fortune from me. Someone posted that they have a hard time believing this could happen in America; I have a hard time believing lawyers like this exist.
There is a fascinating update on this case if you go to google.com and put "Tim Hennis" "update" in the search box. The link was too long, and IMDb would not allow it.
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