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Sentenced to death and later found innocent, one man seeks to bring his story to the big screen

Convicted of murder and sentenced to death, yet innocent. This hell is unimaginable to most people, but it was all too real for Kirk Bloodsworth.

Bloodsworth spent eight years in prison, including two on death row, before becoming the first U.S. prisoner exonerated through DNA testing for a capital conviction. Now Bloodsworth is seeking to share his harrowing story through a full-length documentary.

While the project, titled Bloodsworth: An Innocent Man, is still in its funding stages, the film’s latest trailer is engrossing enough on its own. Bloodsworth describes the ineptitude of his trial lawyer and how the murder he was convicted of shook his community. He also recounts the moment his life completely changed:

“It was August 9, at about 2:45 in the morning. I was staying at my cousin’s house; my first wife and I were having problems. I hear this big “BOOM BOOM BOOM” at the door. It was the Baltimore County police. They arrested me for the first degree murder of Dawn Hamilton. I was wearing silk running shorts, no shoes, no shirt. And they bought me out in a police car, and that was the last time I saw Cambridge, Maryland for eight years, ten months and nineteen days.”

At the end of the trailer, Gregory Bayne, the film’s director and producer, calls Bloodsworth’s case “mind-blowing and maddening,” continuing:

“[W]hat I found most compelling about Kirk is that this is an individual that essentially had his life shaped by a crime he had nothing to do with. Yet 30 years later, he’s dedicated his life to ensuring that what happened to him, doesn’t happen to others.

“Over the course of the past three years, I’ve had a number of people say to me that Kirk’s is a story that must be told and should be seen.”

Count me as one of those people. If you agree too, pitch in to the film’s Kickstarter campaign to help ensure that happens. As the death penalty in the U.S. comes under increasing scrutiny and becomes more controversial, America needs to hear Kirk’s story.

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Jose Cornejo

Jose Cornejo