A series of investigative reports about the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of a man that helped free him
Reporter Doug Smith and the investigative team at WTVT spent two and a half years uncovering new evidence in this series. As a result, a judge threw out a truck driver’s vehicular homicide conviction and released him from a Florida prison. Smith’s investigation focused on an accident in May 2001 when a semi-truck lost control and hit a van, killing two people. The driver of the semi told investigators that he swerved to avoid a car that cut him off causing him hit the van. The lead investigator, who knew one of the victims, pursued a theory that the accused driver had been asleep at the wheel, resulting in a 15- year conviction for vehicular homicide. The series raises serious questions about the criminal justice system in a small town.
Doug Smith, investigative reporter; Lisa Blegen, investigative producer; Craig Davisson, photographer; Mike McClain, Philip Metlin, news directors
Watch "Small Town Justice" here: qtstreaming.jrn.columbia.edu/dupont/2009/smalltownjustice.mov