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UIS Innocence Project to host advance screening of documentary

April 10, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – "Facing Life: The Retrial of Evan Zimmerman," a new true-crime documentary that will premiere Monday, June 5, on A&E, will have an advance special screening Tuesday, April 25, at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The event is hosted by UIS' Downstate Illinois Innocence Project and is free and open to the public.

The screening will be at 6:30 p.m. in University Hall, room 2008, on the UIS campus. A discussion with filmmakers from Towers Productions will follow.

Related site

UIS Downstate Illinois Innocence Project

"Facing Life" documents Zimmerman's decision to face the possibility of life in prison rather than accept an offer of freedom that would falsely brand him as a murderer.

Zimmerman's former girlfriend, Kathy Thompson, was strangled on her wedding night in February 2000 and he became the leading suspect. Although police had no physical evidence against him, Zimmerman was investigated, arrested, convicted, and sent to prison for life. After three years – with help from law students and professors at the University of Wisconsin Innocence Project – Zimmerman won a new trial on appeal. Before the case could go to court the prosecution offered him the chance to plead guilty to a lesser charge and go free. Zimmerman refused.

Filmmakers Shane DuBow and David Boodell followed Zimmerman and his defense team through their final trial preparations and then to the case's startling conclusion in court. "Facing Life" was produced by Towers Productions for A&E Network.

UIS' Downstate Illinois Innocence Project is housed within the Institute for Legal and Policy Studies. Under its auspices, students in Legal Studies and other degree programs provide research and investigative assistance to attorneys who are helping individuals who have been arrested, tried, found guilty, and imprisoned for crimes that the Project believes they did not commit.

For more information about the UIS screening, contact Larry Golden at 217/206-7885 or Rebekah Lanphierd at 217/206-6348.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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