7.3/10
898
3 user 18 critic

A Murder in the Park (2014)

Trailer
1:42 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $14.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Documentary filmmakers assert that Anthony Porter - a former death-row inmate who was spared the death penalty thanks to the efforts of a college journalism program - was actually guilty, and an innocent man was sent to prison.

Directors:

(as Christopher S. Rech), (co-director)

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

"The Trials of Darryl Hunt" is a feature documentary about a brutal rape/murder case and a wrongly convicted man, Darryl Hunt, who spent nearly twenty years in prison for a crime he did not... See full summary »

Directors: Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg
Stars: Evelyn Jefferson, Fred Flagler, John Reeves
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nick Broomfield digs into the case of the notorious serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper, who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of twenty-five years.

Directors: Nick Broomfield, Barney Broomfield, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Nick Broomfield, Lonnie David Franklin Jr., Donna
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Dubbed "The Cannibal Cop," Gilberto Valle was convicted in March 2013 of conspiring to kidnap and eat young women. Valle argued it was all a fantasy; the prosecution's narrative convinced ... See full summary »

Director: Erin Lee Carr
Stars: Gary Allen, Violet Blue, James A. Cohen
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On February 12, 2008, in Oxnard, California, eighth-grade student Brandon McInerney shot his classmate Larry King twice in the back of the head during first period. When Larry died two days... See full summary »

Director: Marta Cunningham
Stars: James Bing, Jeremy Bing, Rosalie Black
The Cheshire Murders (TV Movie 2013)
Documentary | Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A documentary about a brutal home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut in 2007.

Directors: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner
Stars: Marilyn Bartoli, Deb Biggins, Michael Daluz
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

WHO TOOK JOHNNY is an examination into an infamous thirty-year-old cold case: the disappearance of Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch, the first missing child to appear on a milk carton. The film ... See full summary »

Directors: David Beilinson, Michael Galinsky, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Nancy Allen, Paul Bonacci, Troy Boner
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving November 2012, four boys in a red SUV pull into a gas station after spending time at the mall buying sneakers and talking to girls. With music ... See full summary »

Director: Marc Silver
Stars: Lucia McBath, Ron Davis, Michael David Dunn
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A chilling exploration of the tragic history of the Suh family and the murder that shocked America - when the picture perfect son, Andrew, shot and killed his sister's fiancé at her bidding.

Director: Iris K. Shim
Stars: Bob J. Berlin, Myung Han, Carol Hogan
Documentary | Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Oscar-winning documentary that documents a murder trial in which a 15-year-old African-American is wrongfully accused of a 2000 murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Stars: Ann Finnell, Patrick McGuinness, James Williams
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A small-town murder in New England became one of the highest-profile cases of the twentieth century. As the first fully televised court case, the Pamela Smart trial rattled the ... See full summary »

Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Nicole Kidman, Helen Hunt
Witch Hunt (2008)
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of several families who have their lives destroyed when their hometown is whipped into a frenzy by allegations of child molestation.

Directors: Don Hardy Jr., Dana Nachman
Stars: Jack Cummings, Jackie Cummings, Allen Grafton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dexter Hammett ... Alstory Simon (1999)
Joseph Alex ... Anthony Porter
Jason Patrick ... William Taylor
Denny Castiglione ... Paul Ciolino
Kevin Adelstein ... David Protess
... Jerry Hillard
... Marilyn Green
Derick Mayes ... Alstory Simon (1982)
Tamicka Scruggs ... Inez Jackson
Tony Murphy ... Porter's Accomplice
Christina Shaffer ... Shawn Armbrust
Giorgiana Lascu ... Cara Rubinski
Phillia Thomas ... Syandene Rhodes
Luke Hearty ... Tom McCann
Sandra Mroczka ... Erica LeBorgne
Edit

Storyline

In 1999, just hours before his scheduled execution, convicted killer Anthony Porter's life was saved by a journalism class from Northwestern University, led by renowned Innocence Project pioneer, Professor David Protess. The class seemingly found the real killer, Alstory Simon. Porter was released, becoming the poster boy of the anti-death penalty movement. Because of his case, Illinois eventually abolished the death penalty. The filmmakers present strong evidence that Northwestern's investigation led to the release of the real killer, and imprisoned an innocent man. In October 2013, due in part to this film's investigation, the Cook County State's Attorney's office reopened this case. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG - 13 for disturbing crime scene photos and reenactments, drug material and brief language.
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 June 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Porter  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Scales of Justice are Leaning
28 June 2015 | by See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The concept of "the scales of justice" refers to what is right and just. It's a lofty and worthy goal, and one that we U.S. citizens grow up learning is the foundation of our legal system. Sometimes, however, the wheels fall off and the system gets off-track. Co-directors Shawn Rech and Brandon Kinder explore one such quite infamous case.

Here's a quick synopsis: Cops arrest suspect for a double murder (1982). Suspect found guilty and sentenced to death (1983). Just prior to execution, additional information is submitted and the suspect is freed (1999). Another suspect is charged, found guilty and sent to prison. Fifteen years later, charges against the second man are dropped and he is released from prison. Evidence points to original suspect, who has been pardoned and cannot be re-tried.

The above phrase "additional information" is the key to the film. Northwestern University Professor David Protess and a group of his journalism students, working under the auspice of the "Innocence Project", set out to cast doubt on the guilt of Anthony Porter – the prisoner just days from execution. The students' work with Private Investigator Paul Ciolini yields contradictory witnesses and a confession from another man, Alstory Simon. The result of their findings gets Porter released and turns him and themselves into media stars, while also leading to the state of Illinois banning the death penalty.

The film is exceedingly well documented and researched, and provides interviews from detectives, lawyers and Mr. Simon, among others. It's a procedural documentary that questions the very procedures of the justice system … shooting holes and raising red flags on the steps and a multitude of people involved with the cases over the years. Unfortunately, we don't get any account directly from Professor Protess (since released by Northwestern), but that's likely due to the inexcusably shoddy work from his group and his endless grandstanding since getting Porter released.

We all know there are truth-minded journalists, but it's quite frightening when those on the other end of the spectrum can so easily gain power and influence … especially when teamed up with a less-than-scrupulous private investigator who proudly spouts that the rules don't apply to him.

This is a very interesting and detailed look at different personality types, legal procedures, media influence and the role of truth and justice. The film begins with a very unusual disclaimer stating the film studio "does not guarantee the accuracy of the content". The name of the studio? Whole Truth Films.


28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial