2018-02-09 / Arts & Entertainment

The Exonerated at Shandon Presbyterian Church

Contributed by Arts at Shandon


(L-r) first row: J. Larry Davoll Jr., Marilyn Matheus, and Maxwell Highsmith; second row: Libby Campbell Turner, Eric Hartley, Cris Griffin, and Emily Deck Harrill. (L-r) first row: J. Larry Davoll Jr., Marilyn Matheus, and Maxwell Highsmith; second row: Libby Campbell Turner, Eric Hartley, Cris Griffin, and Emily Deck Harrill. The Arts at Shandon will present the Tom Glenn Players in The Exonerated, a play by Jessica Blank and Eric Jenson, at Shandon Presbyterian Church, 607 Woodrow Street, February 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and February 11 at 4 p.m.

This award-winning play will be performed as a staged reading and produced in collaboration with Justice 360, a nonprofit organization working to reform policies and practices in capital and juvenile criminal proceedings.

Studies suggest a disturbingly high percentage of incarcerated people in the U.S. have been wrongfully convicted. A 2016 report by the University of Michigan Law School, for example, says in just the two prior years, nearly 300 people were exonerated of committing crimes for which they had served long sentences— often on death row.

Jessica Blank and Eric Jenson spent years collecting stories from such exonerated former prisoners, and their verbatim interviews with six of them form the basis of this play. The production is directed by Malie Heider and cast members include Neville Bennett, J. Larry DaVoll Jr., Cris Griffin, Emily Deck Harrill, Eric Hartley, Larry Hembree, Maxwell Highsmith, Stuart Massey, Marilyn Matheus, and Libby Campbell Turner.

A panel discussion on justice issues will follow the Sunday, February 11 performance. The panel includes Kevin Lewis, distinguished professor emeritus of Religious Studies at USC; Sterling and Jaqueline Spann; Emily Paavola, attorney with Justice 360; Joe McCulloch, Palmetto Innocence Project; and Vance Eaton, assistant solicitor, Fifth Judicial Circuit.

Admission to all shows is free, but contributions are welcomed.

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