Written by | Ray Cornelius
TV One is expanding its crime and justice programming with the addition of a new show beginning in 2018 titled, “Evidence of Innocence.” The one-hour docu-series is hosted by Attorney Benjamin Crump and profiles the unbelievable true stories of individuals who were convicted of crimes they didn’t commit, the journey each endured to have their cases overturned and the challenge to rebuild their lives. The television project is the brain child of Emmy and NAACP Image award-winning producer Rushion McDonald of 3815 Media and a partnership with Jupiter Entertainment.
I had the pleasure of chatting with both Crump and McDonald during a recent visit to the show’s set. I interviewed them for my radio magazine, UPFRONT, where both men talked passionately about the importance of these cases and the positive message they hope will be conveyed to viewers.
RC with Rushion McDonald and Attorney Benjamin Crump
“I’m a big fan of ‘Forensic Files.’ The way they use DNA and forensically capture people. But there are people being captured that shouldn’t be in jail,” said McDonald during our interview. What happens to these people when they get out of jail? How do they react? Some of these people are incarcerated for decades before they’re exonerated and that’s what these motivational stories are about…people who don’t allow the system or the belief that they were wronged to stop them from living their lives when they get out.”
McDonald told me he presented the idea to TV One President Brad Siegel over breakfast and he immediately wanted the show for the network. Siegel also loved that it was being hosted by 2016 NAN Triumph Award winning attorney, Benjamin Crump, who has served as the lead attorney for the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brow and Alesia Thomas.
Attorney Benjamin Crump during the 2016 Triumph Awards
Crump also explained how many of these high profile cases equipped him to serve as the show’s host. “In so many of those cases, you had to articulate to the court of public opinion that these children’s legacies deserved to not be one that they were bad people and that they deserved what happened to them. The legacy of these individuals should not be defined by this wrongful incarceration and that’s what is so inspiring about it,” said the attorney, who has been a vanguard in the fight against police brutality for decades.
“Evidence of Innocence” is just one of the many shows that McDonald has executive produced. Other TV and film projects include “The Steve Harvey Show,” “The Jamie Foxx Show” The Parkers,” “Family Feud,” “Think Like A Man” and “Think Like A Man Too.” He is also the host of a new radio show, “Money Making Conversations,” which airs on Mondays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on KYND 1520. Crump is an acclaimed Civil Rights Attorney and President of the National Bar Association.
Look for “Evidence of Innocence” to debut in 2018.
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com