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requiem for frank lee smith
end up on death row for a crime he didn't commit? And why did he die there, despite possible evidence of his innocence?
live chat with producer ofra bikel
join the discussion
video excerpt
readings & links with miami herald reports
8 things to know about this case

The lack of evidence, the appeals, the denial of DNA tests, Florida's national ranking in death-penalty errors ... and more.
taking a closer look

Two law professors analyze the Frank Lee Smith case, the miscarriages of justice that occurred, and the need for reforms.
frank lee smith's long hard life

Defense investigator Jeff Walsh got as close to Smith's life story as anyone. Here, he sketches the tragic biography.
justice, and its bitter aftertaste
Producer Ofra Bikel talks about this case; Barry Scheck assesses Bikel's impact; Howard Rosenberg assesses her filmmaking.
tapes & transcriptspress reactioncreditsprivacy policy

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eight things to know + closer look + smith's long hard life + ofra bikel
producer chat + introduction + discussion + video + links & readings
tapes & transcripts + press reaction + credits + privacy policy
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Requiem for Frank Lee Smith

In December 2000, after spending fourteen years on Floridas Death Row, Frank Lee Smith was finally cleared of the rape and murder of eight-year-old Shandra Whitehead. Like nearly 100 prisoners before him, Smiths belated exoneration came as a result of sophisticated DNA testing that was unavailable when he was first convicted. But for Frank Lee Smith, the good news came too late: Ten months before he was proven innocent, Smith died of cancer in his jail cell, just steps away from Floridas electric chair. How did Frank Lee Smith end up on Death Row for a crime he didnt commit? And why was he allowed to die there despite possible evidence of his innocence?

published april 2002