Film Details:

Johnny D
video, 1992, 15 mins.*

See how the criminal justice system often operates when the accused is African-American. This "60 Minutes" production drives home the basic unfairness of the death penalty in a way that nothing else can. On September 19, 1988, Walter McMillian, an African-American known as Johnny D, was sentenced to death for killing a white woman in Alabama. Shows how simple it is for law-enforcement officials to conspire to "get" someone, framing him for the most serious crime with little trouble at all. At the trial, the testimony of witnesses bribed by the police was filled with contradictions, but the jury found Johnny D guilty anyway. Three months after this program aired, Walter McMillian was freed on March 3, 1993, after serving 4 1/2 years on death row when the district attorney admitted that three key witnesses had lied.
Race and Racism; Death Penalty; Criminal Justice