THE INNOCENCE FILES is a Netflix documentary series consisting of hour-long episodes. Each episode details stories of wrongful convictions. Their cases are handled by the Innocence Project to overturn the convictions. Read more in our The Innocence Files review here!

The Innocence Files is a Netflix documentary series with the very appropriate tagline “Guilty until proven innocent”. Each episode features a case of wrongful conviction and the work done by the Innocence Project to help overturn it. The episodes each have a 1-hour runtime and yes, you will be shocked and angry while watching this.

We’ve seen quite a lot of true crime docu-series on Netflix by now. Still, it is shocking just how easy it seems to convict someone wrongfully and sentence them to life in prison – or even death. Especially when, at the same time, other criminals lead a life in freedom where they continue their life of crime.

Continue reading our season 1 The Innocence Files review below and check it out on Netflix now.

True crime documentary on Netflix

As just mentioned in the introduction above, we have watched a lot of true crime documentaries on Netflix. I really do love it but I also find myself getting angry. Watching The Innocence Files is certainly no exception. While the stories wary – since each episode is about a new case – they often feel eerily similar.

Recommended reading: Check out our reviews of true crime movies and TV series here >

It should come as no surprise that both the color of your skin and the amount of money you have are main factors in each story. If you’re black and poor, you really do not stand a chance. But hey, justice can be color-blind. If you’re white and poor, you might just as easily get a wrongful conviction.

Just think of Making a Murderer which almost started this wave of true crime docuseries.

The Innocence Files – Netflix Series Review

The episodes of The Innocence Files season 1

The Innocence Files Netflix docu-series consists of 9 episodes that are essentially divided into 3 subgenres if you will.

Episode 1-3 focuses on “The Evidence”.

The three episodes in this part of the docuseries are:

  • Indeed and Without Doubt (episode 1) featuring Levon Brooks & Kennedy Brewer
  • The Truth Will Defend Me (episode 2) again with Levon Brooks & Kennedy Brewer
  • The Duty to Correct (episode 3) about Keith Harward

Episodes 4-6 of The Innocence Files are subtitled “The Witness”

For this part of the docu-series, we get the episodes:

  • The Murder of Donald Sarpy (episode 4) featuring the case of Franky Carrillo
  • The Trials of Franky Carrillo (episode 5) which the title reveals is still about Franky Carrillo
  • Making Memory (episode 6) with Thomas Haynesworth as its subject

Episodes 7-9 feature “The Prosecution”

The final part of the Netflix docu-series has three episodes:

  • Wrong Place, Wrong Time (episode 7) featuring Chester Hollman
  • Hidden Alibi (episode 8) with the case of Alfred Dewayne Brown
  • The Million Dollar Man (episode 9) about Ken Wyniemko

While each of the nine episodes has different approaches and focuses on various elements of injustice, they also feel very similar. That might be the scariest lesson from watching this docu-series.

You do have to have patience often since they first tell us what happened and caused a conviction. And then we get to the actual value and details of the “evidence”. Still, it is worth hanging in there for all to be revealed.

Watch Season 1 of The Innocence Files on Netflix now!

The Innocence Files is a Netflix docu-series produced by Liz Garbus, Alex Gibney, and Roger Ross Williams. All three should be familiar to you if you’ve watched some of the biggest documentaries in the true-crime subgenre. Liz Garbus recently directed her first feature film based on a true crime with the movie Lost Girls (2020) which is out on Netflix now.

You might like: Our review of the Netflix true-crime movie Lost Girls here >

Prior to this, Liz Garbus also produced and directed the HBO docu-series Who Killed Garrett Philips? which is definitely worth watching as well. Alex Gibney most recently produced and directed the documentary Crazy, Not Insane (2020). Another big title from him was Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015).

Look, all you really need to know is that the producers behind this new Netflix docu-series are all Academy Award-winning documentarists who know what they’re doing. This is a tough series to watch because it makes you wonder just how many innocent people there might be. However, that also means it’s extremely important. Do check it out on Netflix now!

The Innocence Files is out on Netflix with Season 1 from April 15, 2020.


The Innocence Project unravels missteps and deceit in a series of wrongful convictions, exposing the injustice inflicted on victims and the accused.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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