"Crime after Crime" is an informative, incisive and emotional documentary about Deborah Peagler who was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life along with an accomplice for the murder of Oliver Wilson in 1983. When, as a teenager, she first met him, she found him charming but this was before he started pimping her out and abusing her. This was also at a time when women's shelters and similar programs were in their infancy. By 2002, California became the only state to allow new evidence of abuse to be allowed to mitigate old cases and reduce sentences.(By one count, 80% of women in prison are survivors of rape and/or abuse.) At that time, two land use lawyers, Nadia Costa and Joshua Safran, took up her case pro bono to try to secure Deborah's release.
While "Crime after Crime" occasionally goes off subject(but never to the point where the lawyers become more important than Deborah), the marathon metaphor turns out to be tragically apt as the case takes on more than its share of twists.(As Joshua puts it, God works in mysterious ways. And Kafka wrote non-fiction.) The documentary not only does an excellent job of untangling Deborah's case but also explores some of the conditions in prison. But unlike prisoners, prosecutors are not made to publicly repent past misdeeds and mistakes.