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

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 87

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Episodes

Air date: Dec 14, 2018

A young woman is found brutally murdered in 1982 in Ada, Oklahoma. Two years later, another woman goes missing, sparking rumors of a connection.

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Air date: Dec 14, 2018

Tommy recounts his conversation with police about Denice's disappearance. Authorities pursue leads in Debbie's murder while her mom struggles to cope.

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Air date: Dec 14, 2018

Citing new and previously withheld evidence, lawyers from the Innocence Project appeal the murder convictions of Ron and Dennis.

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Air date: Dec 14, 2018

An autopsy reveals a stunning contradiction to Tommy and Karl's confession. Also, an investigative reporter canvases Ada for leads.

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Air date: Dec 14, 2018

While investigating the other possible suspects in Denice's murder, a reporter learns that getting people to talk can be tricky.

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Air date: Dec 14, 2018

Tommy's attorneys prepare a new appeal. John Grisham speaks about what drew him to the stories surrounding the murders in Ada.

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The Innocent Man: Season 1 Videos

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.

Cast & Crew

John Grisham
Executive Producer
Clay Tweel
Executive Producer
Ross Dinerstein
Executive Producer
David Gernert
Executive Producer

Critic Reviews for The Innocent Man Season 1

Audience Reviews for The Innocent Man: Season 1

  • Apr 01, 2021
    After too episodes, completely lost. The jumping around through time and between the large numbers of characters left my brain scrambled.
  • Mar 23, 2021
    This documentary attempts the highly popular true crime approach of many other programmes over the last few years. However unlike others I find the story unstructured, often moving around between different key points and many times leaving loose ends unexplained. This is not I believe for effect, I think it is simply a case of poor directing and editing throughout. Overall the story is compelling and concerning but ultimately I am left frustrated with both the issues with the police investigation and the program itself.
  • Feb 19, 2021
    Detailed look at the true story of two crimes committed in a small town, and how the local law enforcement handled it. It's very detailed and covers a lot of ground on false confessions, perhaps too much – maybe when the Grisham book came out false confessions weren't well known, but I think by now most people are aware that they happen all too often. Still, the documentary treats false confessions like something few people know about, so it feels a little dragged out sometimes. But, all in all, the documentary is well-researched and produced, and if you are willing to sit through some slow parts, it is yet another interesting but tragic story about the criminal justice system.
  • 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

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