David Crawford

Acclaimed Death Penalty Documentary “The Penalty” Premiers in California 

September 7, 2018 (San Francisco) – The Penalty—the acclaimed documentary from Dartmouth Films, Reel Nice, and Clink Street Films that goes behind the scenes of some of the biggest headlines in the recent history the death penalty in the United States—will be premiering in several California cities this month, from September 17th to the 21st.

The film documents real people’s experience with the death penalty: a state’s scramble to develop a lethal injection protocol as an attorney desperately tries to prevent a “botched” and torturous execution; a man’s attempts to put his life back together after spending 15 years on death row for a crime he did not commit; and the family of a murdered young woman, torn apart by the state’s pursuit of the death penalty in the resulting trial.

Co-director Will Francome and producer Laura Shacham will join local criminal justice reform advocates after each screening to discuss their personal and professional experiences with the death penalty, and how this brutal system affects everyone it touches.

“With this film we wanted to examine capital punishment through the stories of some extraordinary people who have to deal with the death penalty in their daily lives” says Francome. “By taking viewers on this journey with them, we hope they will come away with a new understanding of just how much the death penalty brutalizes all of us, whether consciously or not.”

“So much has been written about the death penalty that it becomes easy for people who have already made up their minds about it to tune out the usual arguments” says Death Penalty Focus President Mike Farrell. “But with The Penalty, you’re seeing and hearing from real people who have been victimized by this barbaric system, and the evidence of the toll it has taken on them can’t be denied.”

The tour begins with two screenings in the Bay Area on Monday, September 17th and 18th, followed by three showings in Southern California from September 19th and 21st. For more information, including tickets, venues, and show times, go to For more information about the film and filmmakers, visit To view the trailer, visit

Co-director Will Francome and DPF President Mike Farrell are available for comments and interviews.





  • Monday, September 17 – Berkeley, CA
    • Rialto Elmwood Cinema: 2966 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
  • Tuesday, September 18 – San Francisco, CA
    • The Roxie Theatre: 3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
  • Wednesday, September 19 – Los Angeles, CA
    • Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth Theatre: 2511 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
  • Thursday, September 20 – Los Angeles and Fullerton, CA
    • Loyola Law School, Fritz B. Burns Lounge: 919 Albany St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
      • 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
      • Free and Open to the Public
      • Follow Facebook Page for Updates
      • Refreshments at 6:00 PM. Screening begins at 6:30.
      • Panel Discussion Featuring Filmmakers and Criminal Justice Reform Advocates — Guests TBA
    • CSU Fullerton, Humanities Room 110: 800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831
      • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
      • Free and Open to the Public
      • Follow Facebook Page for Updates
      • Panel Discussion Featuring Filmmakers; CSUF Criminal Justice Professor Stacy L. Mallicoat; and Bethany Webb, family member of victims of 2011 Salon Meritage Shooting in Seal Beach, CA
  • Friday, September 21 – San Diego, CA

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