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Dead Time

A film by Eric Forman

In a gripping real-time life-or-death tale, DEAD TIME follows the story of Bill Kuenzel as he rapidly nears what could be the final chapter of his decades-long battle to prove his innocence. Kuenzel has sat on death row for 27 years for a murder he has always maintained he did not commit. The prosecution withheld important evidence during his trial, and investigations since have uncovered a significant amount of new evidence to support his innocence.

Kuenzel has never been able to present the new evidence to a jury because his attorneys missed a filing deadline imposed as a way to restrict death-row appeals and has lost access to habeas corpus, a critical safeguard in our system of capital punishment.

Documentary filmmaker Eric Forman has spent ten years following this extraordinary story as a dedicated team of pro-bono attorneys work tirelessly for justice. Allowed unprecedented access into the high-stakes world of a capital appeal, DEAD TIME will take viewers behind the headlines and challenge us to reassess our understanding of the death penalty in America.

Are deadlines more important than truth? Do prosecutors seek merely to win a case or do they seek justice? How do we assure the integrity of convictions? Would we knowingly execute a prisoner without hearing all the evidence?

A supporting cast of characters – including members the victim’s family and Kuenzel’s family, as well as the attorneys’ families and legal experts connected to the case – will provide an emotional window into the hearts of people both for and against the death penalty. No matter where you stand on the death penalty, this film will raise troubling questions about whether America acts to prevent the death of innocent men and women.

Get additional background in this VICE article written by director Eric Forman

For more information, please visit the film’s website.

Associated Members

Eric Forman, Producer


We are grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Lowel Cultural Council
Cabot Family Charitable Trust
Liberty Mutual Foundation
City of Boston Arts and Culture