Presumed Guilty

Presumed Guilty, a story of a man caught in a justice system and fighting to regain his freedom, will be shown as a part of Edmonton’s DocSoup festival, presented by Global Visions Film Festival and Hot Docs.

Under Mexican law, one is guilty until proven innocent. José Antonio Zuñiga of Mexico City was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years based on the testimony of a single eye witness. The film follows Zuñiga and his two lawyers as they undertake the seemingly impossible task of having the case re-tried. “Through one man’s extraordinary two-year struggle to regain his freedom, Presumed Guilty documents the contradictions of a judicial system that presumes guilt.”

Presumed Guilty shows how [Zuñiga]‘s strength and creativity help him through nearly three years of wrongful imprisonment. Courtroom scenes chillingly call to mind Kafka’s The Trial, so absurd is the mindless bureaucracy in the judicial process. Toño is retried by the same judge who condemned him. The prosecutor is concerned only with the previous case file and has no interest in new information. The police officers refuse to co-operate, insisting they do not remember Toño’s arrest. It is revealed that the only witness to implicate Toño had himself originally been accused of the crime, then learned of Toño through the police. Hernández and Negrete uncover a frustrating, labyrinthine legal system defended by mediocre civil servants and corrupt police officers. (TIFF)

Presumed Guilty will be screened on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 7:00 pm at Metro Cinema, Zeidler Hall in the Citadel Theatre, 9828 – 101A Avenue.

Tickets are $10 at the door.

Originally posted at Blogosaurus Lex.

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