Show: Better Days Films

Episode: Day 12

Preview is only available to registered and logged in users.

Episode Description:

Better Days Films - Day 12

Two films. Play time: 57:59
Preview with links to YouTube

Better Days Films - is a series of episodes that fit in a one hour time schedule (58 minutes max). Each show is made of several progressive films. Each week a new episode is produced.

This week's films are:

00:00 "FREE KERRY LYN DALTON" - Get Her Off Death Row - A wrongful conviction of murder
29:21 Seagoing Cowboys - Paul Libby

57:59 End

00:00 "FREE KERRY LYN DALTON" - Get Her Off Death Row - A wrongful conviction of murder
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
29:21 Seagoing Cowboys - Paul Libby
Paul Libby talks about his life including being part of the Seagoing Cowboys. The Seagoing Cowboys who within weeks after the ending of World War II assisted to provide livestock to war torn countries of Europe and China. It is this program which led to the international hunger program now known as Heifer International.
Paul's is fluent in Chines. His parents were missionaries in China when he grew up. He was conscious objector, and he talks about the alternative service he did during world war II.
View on YouTube:

57:59 End
Category: Education, ID: 14BSPD12
Better Days Films' Website
More PEGMedia Shows From Better Days Films
More films from BetterWorldFilms
Index of All Better World Films by category

Episode Short Description: N/A

Downloads of This Episode:

[SD File Downloads]: 10

[HD File Downloads]: 0

[Total File Downloads]: 10


SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: BDF Day012.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:57:59

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,857,328,180 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Monday, June 3, 2013 - 12:56

HD (High Definition) File

This episode has not been uploaded by the producer in HD format and is not available for download.

If you wish to have HD format, you can private message a request to the show's producer at Better Days Films.