A Life Sentence: Victims, Offenders, Justice, And My Mother

This intensely personal documentary tells the story of a violent crime committed against reporter Samantha Broun’s mother, its far-reaching impact on her family and decades of reverberations on politics and the criminal justice system. Judges described “A Life Sentence” as a “deeply honest,” “brave” and personal story “elevated to great journalism.” Originally published by Transom.org in March, 2016.

Intro from Jay Allison: This is a story about a terrible crime and everything that followed. It's an intensely personal documentary, but it extends into public life and into the heart of our political and correctional systems. 

Some stories take a long time. This one is an hour long, and took two and a half years to produce, after twenty years of living with it. 

Speaking personally, I'm privileged to have worked with Samantha on her brave telling of her story, her mother's story, and, by proxy, the story of thousands of prisoners serving life sentences.

Listen to the full Dart Award-winning documentary below:

And click here to read an essay about the piece by Broun.