Screening: CNN Film’s Death Row Stories

Date: April 13
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Price: FREE
Location: The Haven
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In Partnership with the Virginia Film Festival:

ROUGH JUSTICE IN THE BIG EASY: In December 1984, a prominent young businessman was robbed and killed outside of his New Orleans apartment.  A month later, police arrested a small-time drug dealer named John Thompson, who had sold the murder weapon on the black market.  Prosecutors for the office of District Attorney Harry Connick Sr., quickly secured a conviction for first-degree murder.  An unrelated carjacking charge helped ensure Thompson’s ticket to death row.  Thompson was just three weeks away from execution when Elisa Abolafia, a private investigator, discovered evidence that would lead to charges of prosecutorial misconduct…and to Thompson’s freedom.   

CNN Films’s screens episode five of the eight-part original series at Tom Tom, followed by a Q&A with series Executive Producer, David Snyder, from Academy Award-winning director’s Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions team will follow the screening. 

CNN Films collaborated with executive producers Alex Gibney and Robert Redford in the creation of the series, and Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon (Deadman Walking) narrates.  Each episode unravels a different capital murder case, that in turn calls into question our beliefs about the death penalty and inequalities in the criminal justice system. 

Jigsaw Productions is home to director Alex Gibney, and has produced many acclaimed documentary films, including Gibney’s Academy Award-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, his Academy Award-nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, as well as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.


  • David Snyder, VP of Development, Jigsaw Productions

  • Brandon Garrett, Professor of Law (U.Va.)