Exonerated Debuts On Court TV
27, Winter 2005, page 5
A made for Court Television version of The Exonerated debuted at 9pm on
January 27, 2005. The Exonerated tells compressed versions of how six
death row prisoners were identified by the police as a suspect, it
outlines their prosecution, and then explains the evidence that
contributed to each person’s eventual release. Those six
Originally written for the stage, The Exonerated was effec-tively
adapted for television. That can be credited in part to many close-ups
of the actors, the use of extras in the background of several scenes,
and that the plays MTV style of quickly cutting from scene to scene and
character to character is more suited to television than the theater.
The cast included Aidan Quinn as Kerry Cook, Danny Glover as David
Keaton, Delroy Lindo as Delbert Tibbs, Susan Sarandon as Sonia Jacobs,
Brian Dennehy as Gary Gauger, and David Brown Jr. as Robert Hayes.
- Kerry Cook, convicted in
1978 of murdering a woman acquaintance.
He was released in 2000 after being im-prisoned in Texas for 22 years.
- Robert Hayes, convicted in
1991 of murdering and rap-ing a
co-worker. He was released in 1997 after being imprisoned in Florida
for six years.
- Delbert Tibbs, convicted in
1974 of murdering a man and raping
his companion. He was released in 1977 after being imprisoned in
Florida for three years.
- Sonia Jacobs, convicted in
1976 of murdering two police-men. She
was released in 1992 after being imprisoned in Florida for 16 years.
- Gary Gauger, convicted in
1993 of murdering his mother and
father. He was released in 1996 after being impris-oned in Illinois for
- David Keaton, convicted in
1971 of murder. He was re-leased in
1973 after two years of imprisonment in Florida.
While the additional capabilities of a television production enhanced
viewing The Exonerated, the script is faithful to the stage version.
The end result is somewhat unusual in that some people may find the
television version of The Exonerated to be a more satisfying experience
than seeing it performed live.
The Court Television cable network is to be commended for co-producing
The Exonerated, and broadcasting it commercial free in prime time on
its debut night. Their support enabled more people to see The
Exonerated on television that one night, than have seen it live on
stage since it was first produced in 2000. Court Television then
broadcast encore presentations of The Exonerated on Jan-uary 29th and
A review of the stage version of The Exonerated was pub-lished in Justice:Denied
Issue 24, Spring
2004, p. 17.