Director/Producer: Eric Forman
On September 23, 1988, in a small courtroom in Talladega county Alabama, twenty-six year-old Billy Kuenzel was convicted of Murder During Robbery in the first degree for the shooting of local convenience store clerk Linda Offord. The jury recommended the death penalty. Billy was put on death row in Holman Prison, where he remains today, awaiting death by lethal injection.
Billy vehemently maintains his innocence and investigations in the nineteen years since the trial have revealed a significant amount of evidence to support his claims. David Kochman, Billy’s current lawyer, is certain that his client is paying nightmarish consequences for a crime he didn’t commit.
His first lawyer, David Dretzin, also believed passionately in Billy’s innocence. He had represented him pro bono for over fourteen years, until he died in a tragic car accident in 2006. In an emotional moment at the hospital, Kochman volunteered to continue Dretzin’s work. Kochman is only twenty-eight, fresh out of law school, and feels the weight of his duty as he takes on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, one of America’s most conservative courts.
One of the sources of Billy’s continued optimism and hope is Jane Campbell, his British pen-pal, who the courts have ruled he is allowed to marry. They will meet face-to-face for the first time at the prison altar.
Produced by Forman Films, Dead Time is a 90 minute documentary that will provide an intimate portrait of Kochman and Kuenzel as they fight for Kuenzel’s freedom. With full access to case files and proceedings, exclusive interviews with Kuenzel, Kochman, Campbell, and the Dretzin family, as well as additional interviews with witnesses and legal experts, Dead Time will be a gripping tale that provides a raw and personal look into the lives of real people whose lives are affected by the death penalty in America.
Time is running out and the stakes are high. The film will watch as the story plays out to a dramatic finale and Kuenzel’s fate is determined: liberation or death.