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The Last Defense

The Last Defense

Last_defense_241x208
Photo Credit:  Lincoln Square Productions
  • Premiered: 
    June 12, 2018
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ABC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
  • Tags:

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Plot Synopsis

Executive produced by Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, THE LAST DEFENSE is a documentary series that looks at cases from all angles -- returning to the scene of the crime, re-interviewing witnesses, and delving beyond the details of the crime and court proceedings -- to take a deep look into the personal stories of the subjects, seeking to trace the path that led them to their place on death row. The seven-episode series explores and exposes flaws in the American justice system through emotional, in-depth examinations of the death row cases of these two people:

Darlie Routier: In 1997, Darlie Routier, wife and mother, was sentenced to death for the brutal stabbing murder of her two young sons, a crime she insists she did not commit. Now 20 years on death row in Texas, the contentious debate over the fairness of her trial is more polarized than ever. After surviving the brutal stabbing that leaves her two sons dead in 1996, Dallas housewife Darlie Routier urges police to find the intruder she claims is the killer. To her horror, she becomes the No. 1 suspect. In his first interview in nearly 15 years, Darlie's husband, Darin Routier, gives an emotional telling of the events leading up to her arrest while the prosecutors, Greg Davis and Toby Shook, walk through the crime scene as they prepare their case. Amid a media frenzy, Darlie Routier's trial begins in the small, conservative town of Kerrville, Texas. Prosecutors know they will be up against a formidable adversary when Darlie's family hires one of Dallas' top attorneys, Doug Mulder. For the first time in the series, we hear from Darlie on death row and her first-hand account of what happened that night, an account investigators say was 100% fabricated after Darlie staged the crime scene. The state's investigators will present its evidence pointing to Darlie as the killer, but 20 years later, defense experts examine their theories, one by one.

Julius Jones: In 2002, Julius Jones, a 21-year-old African-American college student with an academic scholarship, was sentenced to death for the carjacking murder of a white father of two, in Edmond, Oklahoma. Twenty years later and having exhausted his appeals, Jones maintains his innocence.

On Friday, April 27 -- six weeks before the official series premiere -- THE LAST DEFENSE was screened at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, as the audience screened the first hour of the Julius Jones case followed by a panel discussion with executive producers Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, Christine Connor and attorney Dale Baich.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by JuVee Productions
  • Produced by XCON Productions
  • Produced by Lincoln Square Productions