Crime After Crime

Bay Area filmmaker Yoav Potash’s documentary is the shattering chronicle of Deborah Peagler, an African American woman from Los Angeles sentenced to 25 years-to-life for her part in the 1983 murder of her horribly abusive boyfriend. Nearly two decades into her term, a new California law was passed granting domestic violence survivors like Peagler the opportunity to have their cases reopened. Rallying to her cause are two idealistic pro bono attorneys—Nadia Costa, a marathon runner, and Joshua Safran, an Orthodox Jew—who are convinced that suppressed evidence could free Peagler in a matter of months. Over the next five years, Potash’s camera captures in unflinching detail the legal battles waged amid a labyrinth of injustice and sheer corruption. Despite the near obsessive work of her lawyers, growing media attention and even the support of her dead boyfriend’s family, Peagler remained behind bars even after she was diagnosed with cancer. Potash’s film is not only a testament to the unbreakable spirit of Peagler and her attorneys but a call for reexamining the cases of hundreds of thousands of women wrongly imprisoned across the United States. Crime After Crime is a staggering experience that will leave every viewer pondering the very meaning of justice.
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