Show: Film For Justice

Episode: FJ029 - Wrongful Death Row Sentence - Over 17 years - "FREE KERRY LYN DALTON" - Get Her Off Death Row

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Episode Description:

"FREE KERRY LYN DALTON" - Get Her Off Death Row

A wrongful conviction of 1st degree murder - over 17 years on death row - without a body, blood, weapon, or crime scene, not even a person declared dead. Kerry Lyn Dalton remains on death row awaiting appeals. Victoria Ann Thorpe, talks about her quest to exonerate and free her sister from California’s death row.

In the film Victoria quotes from her book, Cages, which documents the trail of her sister Kerry Lyn Dalton, along with a revealing memoir of two sisters’ relationship within a dysfunctional family.

Cages includes excerpts from the trial transcripts. Here's a significant excerpt that includes a quote from the judge:

[As a matter of fact, the alleged murder victim had not even been declared deceased during the trial, as the judge pointed out to his jury, “Ladies and gentlemen, in the last question Mr. Dusek asked, he mentioned that the—Melanie May, in this case, is deceased. That’s a fact for you to decide. It’s inappropriate for him to put that in the question…whether or not Miss May is in fact deceased or not, because that’s something for you to decide.” Judge Thomas J. Whelan quote, trial transcript page 4661, line 16-18]

Victoria explains that Kerry Lyn is one more reason to abolish the death penalty. With 142 person’s exonerated from U.S. death rows since 1975, we cannot avoid the truth that we are executing innocent people. A high percentage of these cases were over-turned from outside the system (independent help, pro-bono legal assistance, organizations dedicated to exonerating wrongful convictions).

Among the top reasons for wrongful convictions are: misidentification, false confessions, prosecutorial misconduct, snitch testimony, faulty forensics. In the film Victoria shows that many of these apply to Kerry Lyn's trial.

Victoria in the film explains that one practical way to curb future wrongful convictions is to remove prosecutorial immunity; currently prosecutors cannot be sued civilly (held accountable) for purposeful misconduct (illegal behavior) even if they destroy evidence, plant evidence, or knowingly use perjured testimony for example. Prosecutors have full immunity.

Victoria also shows how snitching was used the prosecution of Kerry Lyn. Snitching testimony is the highly abused tool in our criminal justice system where testimony against another is done to gain favors. This tactic is used prolifically by the prosecution.For obvious reasons snitching leads to a great deal of wrongful convictions and quite often allows the actual perpetrator to go free.

Sister Helen Prejean, Author of Dead Man Walking and Death Of Innocents says of Victoria's book Cages, that Victoria "exposes the complexities and faults within the system, while going deeply into the moral issue of capital punishment. The story of these two sisters will capture your heart."

Pam Larratt's Amazing Grit show provides the introduction to Victoria's talk with the opening song - 'Sister's Smile' - written by Pam about Kerry Lyn's wrongful conviction and the day she takes her freedom back.

The YouTube link for this film is:
Category: Education
Tags: Death Row, Wrongful Conviction, Exoneration, Murder, DNA, Capital Punishment, Prison, Innocent, Trial, Conviction, Sisters, Women On Death Row, Prosecutor Immunity, Prosecutor, Snitching
Websites: - Victoria's Website - Updates for Kerry Lyn - Amazing Grit - The Pam Larratt Show
More films on YouTube and available for Public Access TV Broadcast via download from - More Films For Justice - Full index of films by category
available from Better World Films

Episode Short Description: N/A

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[HD File Downloads]: 0

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: FJ029 Free KerryLyn.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:27:59

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,251,567,859 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Monday, February 25, 2013 - 19:33

HD (High Definition) File

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