tt0101982 Guilty Until Proven Innocent [Presumed Guilty] (1991)
The TV movie "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" was originally broadcast 22 September 1991 on NBC television network in USA. It was later released as a video with the title "Presumed Guilty". A DVD with title "Presumed Guilty" was released 21 June 2005.
A review of this TV movie was published the day of its first broadcast in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper in Orlando, Florida, USA.....
September 22, 1991|By Greg Dawson, Sentinel Television Critic
Injustice Of 'Guilty' Rings Frightfully True
The parallels between Bobby McLaughlin and Edward Humphrey are not precise, but close enough to give the NBC movie Guilty Until Proven Innocent (9 to 11 tonight, WESH-Channel 2) a jolting relevance.
It tells the true story of McLaughlin, now 31, who spent most of the '80s in Sing Sing penitentiary for a murder he didn't commit.
Martin Sheen gives an impassioned, affecting performance as the father who overcame initial doubts about his foster son's innocence and led a crusade that resulted in McLaughlin's conviction being overturned.
Humphrey, of course, is the Indialantic man who spent much of the past year as a suspect, for many months the only suspect, in the murder of five Gainesville college students in August 1990.
He was released from prison last week after serving 12 months on an unrelated charge - a sentence his family believes was stiffened by the fact he was a suspect in the Gainesville case.
A grand jury convenes in November to hear evidence against Humphrey and Danny Harold Rolling, now considered the prime suspect. Most investigators on the case expect Humphrey to be cleared.
Like Humphrey at the time of his arrest, McLaughlin was a troubled young man whose very appearance lent credence to the police charges. Ultimately, though, it was the system that failed.
Sloppy work by a rookie detective, an overzealous prosecutor and an incompetent public defender (played by Rebecca Schull, the spacey ticket agent on Wings) combined to produce a gross miscarriage of justice in the case of Bobby McLaughlin.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent needed a major performance in the role of Bobby and got it from Brendan Fraser, who has Tony Danza's lower lip and Ken Wahl's suppressed rage.
The tight script is by Caroline Kava (I Know My First Name Is Steven), who only once descends to sloganeering, when Sheen screams at a prosecutor, ''Your job is supposed to be about winning justice, not just winning!''