BLOODSWORTH: An Innocent Man is a documentary memoir recounting Kirk Noble Bloodsworth’s remarkable journey through the criminal justice system as an innocent man convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, and his becoming the first death row inmate exonerated by DNA evidence in the United States. Set against the backdrop of his current battle to repeal the death penalty in the State that sentenced him to death, BLOODSWORTH: An Innocent Man offers an intimate glimpse into what it is to wake to a living nightmare; an innocent man caught in the perfect storm of injustice.
Ultimately, BLOODSWORTH: An Innocent Man takes us deep into, what is for many of us, uncharted territory. A first hand glimpse into the true human toll of wrongful conviction revealing the lasting wounds it inflicts upon those who, like Kirk, find themselves arrested in time; forever trapped in a moment, a case, and a crime that, though it had nothing to do with them, has fundamentally and forever re-shaped the course of their lives.
Produced by Gregory Bayne, Co-Produced by Travis Swartz, Associate Produced by Dan Heath & Russell Southam, Directed by Gregory Bayne, Cinematography by Gregory Bayne & Travis Swartz, Editing by Gregory Bayne, Music by Patrick Benolkin, Additional Music by Ryan Bayne, Sound by Jacob Kinch, Featuring Kirk Noble Bloodsworth
Watch the newly released opening sequence rough cut for BLOODSWORTH: An Innocent Man.
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BLOODSWORTH: AN INNOCENT MAN is a sponsored project of the Independent Filmmaker Project.
To complete our production and post-production, and ensure the completion and distribution of the full length film, we are raising completion funds via the IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project in NYC), our 501(c)3 non-profit fiscal sponsor, is able to accept tax-deductible donations on our behalf.
To fully fund the completed production, post production, delivery, marketing and distribution of the film we seeking a total of $107,000.00. These funds will go directly toward the shooting of our live action recreations, film editing, scoring, sound design and mixing, final delivery of the film, and the initial release of the film in theaters, across various digital platforms and on hard copy formats (such as DVD and Blu-Ray).
To make a donation, or learn more, please click the “Make a Contribution” button below.
THE STORY BEHIND BLOODSWORTH: AN INNOCENT MAN
BLOODSWORTH: An Innocent Man is a documentary memoir recounting Kirk Noble Bloodsworth’s remarkable journey through the criminal justice system as an innocent man convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, and his becoming the first death row inmate exonerated by DNA evidence in the United States. Set against the backdrop of his current battle to repeal the death penalty in the State that sentenced him to death, BLOODSWORTH: AN INNOCENT MAN offers an intimate glimpse into what it is to wake to a living nightmare; an innocent man caught in the perfect storm of injustice.
In 1985, Kirk Noble Bloodsworth was sentenced to die in a Maryland penitentiary for the brutal rape and murder of 9 year old Dawn Hamilton. A crime he did not commit.
This dark journey began almost 9 months earlier on July 25th, 1984 when two young boys, who were fishing in a small pond behind the apartment complex where Dawn lived, witnessed her walk off into the woods with a man they described as skinny, 6 foot-five, with a bushy mustache and blonde hair. They were the last people to see her alive.
Hours later, Dawn’s body was found lying facedown in the woods by a Baltimore Police Detective.
At the time of the murder Kirk did not live in the area, was neither 6 foot five, nor was he blonde with a bushy mustache. He was a 6 foot, brawny redhead with mutton-chop sideburns who had worn glasses since age five. He had witnesses who could place him at home at the time of the murder, and there was no physical evidence that linked Kirk to the crime scene. Despite all of this, Kirk was ultimately convicted by his slim resemblance to a composite drawing based on the eyewitness testimony of the two young boys, and the eyewitness identification of 3 others, one of which identified Kirk after seeing him on the news.
Arrested within 3 weeks of the murder Kirk maintained his innocence from day one assuming somehow, some way, the police would realize they had the wrong man and the nightmare would end.
Sadly it did not. In March of 1985, Kirk Bloodsworth entered the dark recesses of the Maryland State Penitentiary, alone, and branded a monster, as he began his 9-year battle to prove his innocence from the confines of a 6×9 cell.
Through truly jaw-dropping twists and turns, chronicled in this film, Kirk finally won his freedom in 1993. Thanks to what was then a new technology called “genetic fingerprinting,” Kirk Bloodsworth became the first death row inmate exonerated by DNA.
Since his exoneration in 1993, Kirk has found his voice, making it his life’s mission to foster change in the criminal justice system, especially regarding issues surrounding wrongful convictions and the death penalty. He has become a vocal opponent of the death penalty, speaking publicly to small groups and large audiences, lobbying politicians, and working with other activists to rehabilitate the penal system. The pinnacle of this work to date came in 2004 when President George W. Bush signed into law the Kirk Noble Bloodsworth Post Conviction DNA Testing Program which provides block grants to States to pay for inmate post-conviction DNA testing.
Today, Kirk continues his fight across the country, and in his home state of Maryland, where, in 2013, a bill designed to repeal the death penalty will be considered. They have a Governor willing to sign, but must convince an increasingly conservative legislature to get it to his desk.
In the face of the growing number of executions — and exonerations — in the United States, Kirk’s story is more important to tell than ever, as it uniquely captures a perfect storm of injustice, illustrating exactly how this can happen to anyone. His story reveals some of the most devastating flaws in our criminal justice system and sheds light on the moral ramifications of state imposed death penalties; proving that it is indeed possible to convict, and execute, innocent people.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Currently, we are nearing the end of production shooting. This spring we will continue to follow Kirk as the 2013 death penalty repeal effort (which proved successful) comes to a close, and will follow him back home to the shores of Cambridge, Maryland. As well, we are planning production of live action recreations based on Kirk’s first hand retelling of his story this summer.
This film would not have been possible, or come this far, without the continued and generous financial support of Idaho Commission on the Arts and the many, many individuals who have been so very kind to this effort, beginning with those who were kind enough to contribute to our original Kickstarter campaign to get the film underway. We offer them a very humble thanks.
Emily Millay Haddad / The Shondes
Joke and Biagio
Juli Christopherson Lynch
Michele and John Corr
Little Big Film Co.
Victoria Westcott & Jen Westcott
Susan E. Sheridan
Kathleen A. Martin
Gavin ap’ Morrygan
Shan Wang & Eric Meltzer
J. Kyle Fagan
Sean & Leigh Ann Dufurrena
Timothy David Orme
Randal & Brenda Padgett
Jayne Ann Cortez
Jeanne Veillette Bowerman
Saskia Wilson Brown
Karl R Kraft
Lisa Barnes Pawloski
John W. Yost
Michelle M. Snowden
John T. Woods
José da Costa
Kris & Lindy Boustedt
L. Ashwyn Collins
Zach V Ganschow
Magda M. Olchawska
Meagan Adele Lopez
KIRK TELLS HIS STORY
Listen to Kirk tell his story in the video below. Please note, Kirk does describe the graphic nature of the crime for which he was convicted.