Proven Innocent is an American legal drama television series created by David Elliot following the employees of a wrongful conviction law firm(Wikipedia).
This review contains spoilers, if you haven’t seen the episode “Acceptable Losses” please do not continue reading
In the episode “Acceptable Losses,” Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre) and the Injustice Defense Group continue their quest to free the wrongly imprisoned and ensure justice is served.
The team certainly had their work cut out for them with two cases. They split into two groups. Madeline and Violet (Nikki M. James) travel back to Ohio when Amina Jackson (JoNell Kennedy) tell them Davon Watkins’ (Coley Speaks) stay of execution was overturned due to a new government law. Unless they came up with evidence to back up the signed affidavit of the actual now deceased murderer, Davon was going to die. Meanwhile, Easy (Russell Hornsby) and Bodie (Vincent Kartheiser) had to prove former frat boy Daniel Hernandez (Juan Gabriel Pareja) was innocent of rape and murder. The judge hearing the case was Judge Fry (Stephen McKinley Henderson) who was Easy’s former mentor when he was starting out in law.
I thought the decision to have Judge Fry suffering from dementia was an excellent choice on the part of the writers. When Judge Fry first appeared, I assumed that because he had been Easy’s mentor bias would be called into question. Characters on television suffering from memory loss are certainly not a rarity. But having one who is responsible for analyzing and reviewing law was a different take. When a sharp mind becomes dull, it’s sad to see. And that pain was evident on Easy’s face when he confronted Judge Fry. Although it wasn’t shown, their backstory must have been one of encouragement and admiration. I got the impression that Judge Fry help mold Easy into the attorney he became. But it was obvious the law was important to Judge Fry and if he was no longer able to uphold it, he made the right decision by stepping down. I also liked the pairing of Easy and Bodie on a case. These two have different personalities but they complimented each other well, I hope they get to work together again on future cases.
Back to Davon Watkins. The handling of his appeal was a gross miscarriage of justice. The judge hearing the case basically refused to listen to anything Madeline had to say. I think this judge went into the proceedings with the mindset to deny the appeal and have the execution go forward as scheduled. The possibility that an innocent man would be put to death was of no concern. How was this justice? Answer: It wasn’t. Davon appreciated everything Madeline and her team was doing to get him out, but I think he knew in his heart there was no happy ending for him. He was going to die. Davon accepted his fate and made peace with it. Up until the last second, Madeline continued to fight for him even trying to get the governor to intervene. But in the end, Davon was executed. As I watched this play out I experienced a range of emotions from sadness to anger. Violet expressed these feelings well on her podcast: “When I was a child, my parents told me everything happens for a reason. It isn’t right that our family teaches us that the world is good and right and fair. I’m trying but I just can’t see the reason in an innocent man being put to death.”
Although The Injustice Defense Group getting a win for Daniel Hernandez didn’t help their feeling of failure as Madeline pointed out “There are no acceptable losses.”
The only bright spot for Madeline in this episode was at the end when girlfriend Wren’s (Candice Coke) parole was granted and the two shared a romantic reunion when Wren was released from prison.
“Acceptable Losses” touched upon what happens when the justice system fails the innocent. The Injustice Defense Group helped an actual murderer get acquitted a few cases back but were unable to obtain the freedom of an innocent man. I can imagine how this will have them questioning how much good they actual do.
On Friday, April 19, 2019 at 9/8c Proven Innocent airs episode ten “SEAL Team Deep Six.”
Photos Courtesy of FOX
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