support from earthlinksupport from npr news
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
introduction
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

PBS LogoFunding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers.Additional national sponsorship for FRONTLINE is provided by EarthLink and NPRearthlinknpr

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Support thought-provoking independent journalism like FRONTLINE by making a pledge to your local PBS station today.

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
FRONTLINE + wgbh + pbsi

photograph copyright ©2002 joel page all rights reserved
web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation

Requiem for Frank Lee Smith

In December 2000, after spending fourteen years on Floridaís 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, Smithís 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 Floridaís electric chair. How did Frank Lee Smith end up on Death Row for a crime he didnít commit? And why was he allowed to die there despite possible evidence of his innocence?

published april 2002

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

NEXT ON FRONTLINE

The Rise of ISISOctober 28th

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS