The testimony of one of the key witnesses in Peterson's trial, forensic investigator Duane Deaver, has come into question. And as a result, in December of 2011, Peterson is released on parole. But he...
Explosive developments - implicating both the forensics laboratory of the police department of North Carolina, and Duane Deaver, its chief - recently saw the convicted subject of 'The ... See full summary »
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
A critical look into some true crime cases where American law enforcement made up for lack of actual physical evidence by using devious psychological tactics during interrogation in order to extract confessions from naive suspects.
Michael Iver Peterson, an American novelist convicted in 2003 of murdering his second wife, Kathleen, sees his life go under the microscope in this award winning true crime series by ... See full summary »
Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, presents a gripping courtroom thriller, offering a rare and revealing inside look at a high-profile murder trial. In 2001, author Michael Peterson was arraigned for the murder of his wife Kathleen, whose body was discovered lying in a pool of blood on the stairway of their home. Granted unusual access to Peterson's lawyers, home and immediate family, de Lestrade's cameras capture the defense team as it considers its strategic options. "The staircase" is an engrossing look at contemporary American justice that features more twists than a legal bestseller.Written by
THE STAIRCASE is protracted and meticulous, yet a fascinating study of how a 'Dream Team' legal defense is organized and executed. In December of 2001 acclaimed author, Michael Peterson, was accused in the death of his wife, Kathleen. It was his contention that Kathleen slipped and fell on a staircase in their home after an evening of wine and relaxation, while the prosecution maintained that Mr. Peterson had bludgeoned his wife, and positioned the body to appear as an accident. Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, the writer/director, has culled this account from more than six-hundred hours of taped documentation. Every aspect of the case is dissected and examined in great detail, and the viewer watches as each piece is crafted into the best possible case for the defense. The film demonstrates how expert witnesses are selected and coached so that the presentation to the jury becomes a calculated performance. The facts of a case are seen as nothing more than elements in a construction to portray the defendant in the most positive light. Truth is of secondary importance, and it is clear that in the American justice system, only the wealthy can receive anything approaching fairness. If you are a fan of The Courtroom Procedural, THE STAIRCASE is well worth your attention. Superb soundtrack by Jocelyn Pook.
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