Playing 'Witch Hunt' (an independent documentary film)

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[From:  Emanuel Levy, "Witch Hunt:  Docu about Justice System, Produced and Narrated by Sean Penn"

"Witch Hunt," a film by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, executive-produced and narrated by Sean Penn. will receive its world premiere at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival.

"Witch Hunt" chronicles the unraveling of a small town's justice system. The main characters in this new non-fiction film are working class parents, moms and dads, who were all wrongly convicted of child molestation in the early 1980s in the town of Bakersfield, California. Each of these falsely convicted people was recklessly pursued by the same Kern County District Attorney who remains in office today. "Witch Hunt" is a true crime drama, where the real criminals were the authorities, themselves.

Starting in 1984 at the height of child molestation hysteria, the local District Attorney used this sensational crime in order to get himself elected by preying on these innocent families and convincing an easily swayed public of their crimes. These innocent citizens served unwarranted lengthy prison time from 6 years to 20 years in some of Californias most horrendous prisons, ultimately resulting in tremendous hardships for themselves and their loved ones leaving everyone emotionally and psychologically damaged for life. Miraculously, after lengthy court battles and the uncovering of evidence left out of the initial trials, each person was finally exonerated. However, they have yet to receive an apology from those who wrongfully convicted them. "Witch Hunt" promises to be a heart-wrenching story about wrongful persecution, an unbalanced justice system, coercion, and at the same time, endurance and hope that this type of injustice can be stopped.

It is the story of John Stoll, Jeffrey Modahl, Brenda and Scott Kniffen, Marcella and Rick Pitts, Jack and Jackie Cummings and their children and families whose lives were ruined and turned upside down for decades by a system they trusted. "Witch Hunt" is directed and produced by first time feature filmmakers Dana Nachman and Don Hardy. The film is narrated and executive produced by Oscar winner Sean Penn ("Mystic River").

John Stahl and Jeff Modahl have now dedicated their lives to helping other falsely convicted innocents to get their day in court.

For more, go to:

[The featured clip specifically mentions the way in which social workers, and other professionals working for child protective services, will lead a child during the course of a investigating conversation.  The end result is a false allegation, one that has to be settled in court, before a judge]


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