The Innocent Man: Season 1 (2018)


Season 1
The Innocent Man

Critics Consensus

The Innocent Man will satisfy true crime aficionados looking for a slickly packaged mystery, but viewers seeking a more probing deconstruction of the justice system may come away disappointed.

74%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 23

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 79

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Episodes

1
Air date: Dec 14, 2018
2
Air date: Dec 14, 2018
3
Air date: Dec 14, 2018
4
Air date: Dec 14, 2018
5
Air date: Dec 14, 2018
6
Air date: Dec 14, 2018

Tv Season Info

In 1982, 21-year-old Debra Sue "Debbie" Carter is raped and killed inside her home. In 1984, another Ada woman, 24-year-old Denice Haraway, is killed after being kidnapped from the convenience store where she works. Local men Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot are charged with Haraway's murder and sentenced to life in prison. A couple years later, police charge two other men, Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, with killing Carter. Fritz receives life in prison, while Williamson is sentenced to the death penalty. Similarities emerge between how the two cases are handled; their videotaped confessions are questioned, as are forensics results and physical evidence (or lack thereof). In 1999, with help from non-profit legal organization the Innocence Project, DNA testing helps exonerate Williamson and Fritz. To this day, Ward and Fontenot remain in prison and maintain their innocence.

Critic Reviews for The Innocent Man Season 1

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (6)

The most interesting elements in the series are the ones left unexplored. Loose threads abound. And together, they hint at a larger story more compelling and less familiar than the one that's actually being told.

Dec 17, 2018 | Full Review…

We've seen this type of story told so many times in recent years, and with such aesthetic similarities, that we recognize its rhythms before the series can even hit a first note.

Dec 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Overall, The Innocent Man presents a damning indictment of the judicial system in rural towns like Ada...

Aug 4, 2020 | Full Review…

Each episode of The Innocent Man offers a story with an efficient structure. [Full review in Spanish]

May 13, 2019 | Full Review…

The series uses two small-town murder investigations to question issues plaguing the entire criminal justice system, and the answers it arrives at are tough to swallow.

Feb 1, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Unfocused series will appeal most to true crime fans.

Jan 9, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Fascinating, heartbreaking, and infuriating in equal measure.

Dec 27, 2018 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

It is fitting then, that this side of America - a rotten, crime-infested land of rampant corruption and backward beliefs - is brought to our attention by the same people that the country is trying to hide.

Dec 21, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The docuseries hits all the right beats of a good true crime offering: sensational crime, unimaginable fallout, wild abuse of power, and of course, the heroic figures still fighting for the truth to come out.

Dec 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Although impressive in its specificity and a critical view into criminal justice failures, it ends up a much less compelling iteration of Making a Murderer.

Dec 18, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

These are uneasy questions with uneasy answers, but that The Innoncent Man takes its time in tackling them with tact and thoughtfulness makes it stand apart from the glut of true crime series that have come our way.

Dec 18, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This captivating docu-series... explores how justice systems, big and small, are broken all across the United States.

Dec 17, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Innocent Man: Season 1

  • Jul 19, 2020
    I can't believe these two men are still incarcerated. The people who brought these two men to trial were the most incompetent I have ever witnessed.
  • Mar 17, 2019
    A beautiful, underrated documentary about corruption, punishment and mystery.
  • Jan 28, 2019
    Tough to watch after reading the book first. But trying to look at the documentary separate from the book, the documentary jumps around too much and doesn't build any emotional feelings for the falsely accused.
  • Jan 07, 2019
    The Innocent Man is certainly not unique and unduly convoluted, but this already-compelling story is brought to life by the subjects' poignant interviews, a twisty and baffling narrative structure, and gripping production.
  • Dec 31, 2018
    Decent enough. It tries to be another “making a murderer” with a few episodes too many and little-to-no answers.
  • Dec 26, 2018
    Having grown up 40 miles from Ada and my dad in law enforcement I was horrified at the things I learned happen in the “80” as a teenager. I even spoke with my dad about it and he had no clue of the corruption that took place and looked to be common place.
  • Dec 25, 2018
    Great job. Book is even bettwr
  • Dec 23, 2018
    What a crazy situation going on in Ada. Corrupt cops, negligent DA, coerced jailhouse informant, etc. Its impossible to believe but in a span of 3 years, re 2 different murders, the Ada police managed 4 coerced confessions, leading to 4 men being put in jail. Years later, its proven that 2 of the were innocent (& released from prison) and the other confessions look highly suspicious. Its all hard to believe, but the facts are all there. And this is the "best system in the world" hahaha, ok.
  • Dec 20, 2018
    Awful. Not what one expects. They basically kill all the suspense of the GREAT Grisham book be talking about key incidents 5-10 minutes into the mediocre passionless doc, completely with reenactments and the STOLEN style of Earl Morris, which fails miserably. They don't even talk about the crime before they start talking some serious corruption by the state. Who cares about the exhumed palm print if you don't even know the significance of the print? This is just a greedy attempt to cash in on the success of Making a Murderer. Imagine watching that great series already knowing about some of the key shocking moments within the first 10 minutes, without even knowing about the crime. This show has no true beginning. A total mess. I had to stop it.
  • Dec 17, 2018
    If you are looking for the next "Making a Murderer" this is not it. This is a 6-part series on Netflix based on a book by John Grisham which feels more like it's based on the Cliff notes.

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