"Whitewash: The Clarence Brandley Story," written by Abby Mann and directed by Tony Bill and has to be one of the best telepics based on a real life story that I have ever seen. The theme of how the truth can be horribly disfigured by racism and racist hostility is horribly portrayed in that you just know that Clarence Brandley is innocent of the murder of Cheryl Ferguson, but the racist court system in Conroe is blind to that fact, and their racial hatred came only a few days away from being responsible for the death of an innocent man which was a very scary thought. It was just too easy for the town to convict a black man for this crime of the rape and murder of a white teenage girl, and how the witnesses shaped the evidence and testimony [if you can call it that] to fit their foregone conclusion. From the ranger to the various judges who tried the case (except the last one) could only make a bad thing worse.
Even though Courtney B. Vance as Clarence Brandley and Gil Bellows as defense attorney Mike DeGuerin are the stars, Richard Eden, as district attorney Peter Spears, truly shines. His performance as the district attorney in the later trials is both absorbing and riveting. His performance is not to be missed by any fan of this true-life events genre. And it was a good mystery as well, with twists and surprises throughout and an ending that is completely unexpected, when the real killers are finally exposed and Clarence Brandy is vindicated of the crime after so many years of being on death row, when his patience and trust in the legal system is finally rewarded. I thoroughly enjoyed "Whitewash: The Clarence Brandley Story," and look forward to watching it again.
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