Conviction is a powerful short film about Jeffrey Deskovic, a man who was wrongfully convicted of the murder and rape of a young girl and sentenced to prison when he was just 16 years old. Jeffrey Deskovic shares his story and the effects of being incarceration for years and his fight to prove his innocence. Director Jia Wertz explores Jeffrey’s past and allows his voice to be heard after being silenced for so many years. Conviction reveals to the audience that Jeffrey has ultimately lost the greatest gift of all, his life.
An extremely sad and tragic story, Conviction begins with Jeffrey describing the crime which led to his imprisonment. He was framed and duped into helping two men who were posing as officers of the law, however, they used him as a pawn in their own evil actions. Shortly after this encounter, Jeffrey was then accused of the murder and rape of classmate Angela Correa who was just 15 years old. At this point of the film, it may have been beneficial to understand the crime a bit more in depth as it felt as though this part was rushed. Understandably, this story is solely based on Jeffrey Deskovic’s experiences, his thoughts and his feelings, however, the audience need an outline and background information. It would have been great to have just a bit more detail of this for a more developed story and to have a clearer picture. After spending 16 years in prison, the real murderer steps forward and confesses to these crimes committed. Jeffrey was then able walk out as a free man and leave behind his past life.
Conviction was visually pleasing, it was fitting to have images of everything Jeffrey described on screen, such as his life in prison, his school, images of Jeffrey as a young boy. The audience then had the ability to visualise and hang on every word he was saying. His story came alive, which in turn made it that much easier to follow and flowed well. As the film evolved, the audience learn that once Jeffrey was released from prison, he made it his mission in life to help others who have been falsely accused of a crime they did not commit. Jeffrey has managed to help seven wrongfully convicted people through his foundation and is wanting to bring change to the system of which he has now seen from the inside. One of Jeffrey’s highest achievements was graduating from Law School, his determination and enthusiasm to make a difference was captured throughout this short film and made for an extremely heart-warming moment as he received his qualifications.
This short film was so moving, almost heart-breaking. We discover how Jeffrey is coping with the trauma now he is part of the outside world again. A lot of Jeffrey’s life has been spent behind bars and this film shows his readjustment into the real world and the setbacks he has endured.
Conviction shines the light on others who have been wrongfully imprisoned and the struggles they have had to face both in and out of the system. The life experiences missed on the outside world, as well as the violence and dangers of being around criminals inside prison. Conviction portrays Jeffrey Deskovic as a strong man who has faced so much hardship. It was a great film and it enabled Jeffrey to share his story, allowing others to see him as an inspiration, with a desire to make a change and help those in need.