True Conviction
Now Streaming

True Conviction

  • BY Jamie Meltzer | IN Crime
    Premiered April 30, 2018

About the Film

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” - MLK

There's a new detective agency in Dallas, run by three exonerated men who all spent decades in prison. Their mission: to free other innocent people still behind bars.

After serving a combined 60 years in prison for crimes they did not commit, three recently exonerated Texans — Christopher Scott, Johnnie Lindsey, and Steven Phillips — join forces to form the unlikeliest of investigative teams, on a mission to help wrongfully convicted prisoners obtain freedom like they did. Scott, a dad, and grandfather, formed House of Renewed Hope to help fight for the gift of “a second chance at life.” In True Conviction, brotherly bonds are formed out of shared hardships — lengthy prison sentences in a state that executes more inmates than any other. MORE

Through the steadfast fieldwork of this grassroots "dream team," these Dallas detectives are transforming decades of hard time into a new career helping others just like them. In 2012, Scott was named Dallas Morning News “Texan of the Year” for his work.

Focusing on the cases of Max Soffar, a death row inmate of 35 years who was forced into a triple murder confession as a young man, and Isaiah Hill, sentenced to life in prison on aggravated assault charges after refusing a plea bargain, the trio logs in hundreds of miles digging up fresh evidence on behalf of their incarcerated clients. Through tenacity, hope, and determination these real-life superheroes work together to rebuild broken lives and families as they campaign to fix the criminal justice system while still fighting demons of their own.

The Filmmaker

Jamie Meltzer’s feature documentary films have been broadcast on PBS and have screened at numerous film festivals worldwide. True Conviction premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded a Special Jury Mention in the Best Documentary Category; the film is a co-production of ITVS and the recipient of both Sundance Institute and MacArthur grants. Meltzer’s previous films include Informant (2012), about a revolutionary activist turned FBI informant; Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story (Independent Lens, 2003), about the shadowy world of song-poems; Welcome to Nollywood (PBS broadcast, 2007), an investigation into the wildly successful Nigerian movie industry; and La Caminata (2009), a short film about a small town in Mexico that ran a simulated border crossing as a tourist attraction. He is the Program Director of the M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film at Stanford University. LESS

Film Credits

Jamie Meltzer

Executive Producers
Adam Spielberg
Dan Cogan
Seth Gordon
Jenny Raskin
Lois Vossen
Sally Jo Fifer

David Alvarado
Kate McLean
Michael May

Jeff Gilbert

David Alvarado

In Memory of Johnnie Lindsey

Original Music
Joshua Abrams

Consulting Editor
Ben Sozanski

Minette Nelson
Peter Jordan
George M. Rush

Consulting Producers
Noland Walker
Steve Bannatyne

Supervising Producer
Shana Swanson

Associate Producer
John Montague

Additional Camera
Mario Furloni
Peter Jordan
Hanny Lee
Michael Gioulakis
Bobby Lewis
Catharine Axley
Melissa Langer
Russell Bush
Frazer Bradshaw

Steadicam Operator
Benjamin Verhulst

Location Sound
Jamie Meltzer
Jonathon Quam
Kate McLean

Sound Designer
Peter Albrechtsen, MPSE

Sound Editors
Lars Halvorsen
Jacques Pedersen
Morten Green

Assistant Sound Designer
Mikkel Nielsen

Sound Editing Facilities

Foley Studio
H5 Film Sound Ltd

Re-Recording Mixers
Peter Albrechtsen, MPSE
Jacques Pedersen

Sound Mix Facilities
Mainstream ApS

Dialogue Editor
Miik Dinko

Re-Recording Mixer
Outpost Studios, Inc.

Joshua Abrams
Ari Brown
Hamid Drake
Marquis Hill
Luke Malewicz
James Sanders

Music Mixed By
Neil Strauch

Story Consultant
Tom Haneke

Investigative Consultant
Hal Humphreys

Parole Consultant
Dennis Kelly

Still Photography
Sarah Lim Photo

George M. Rush

Additional Editing
J. Christian Jensen
Annukka Lilja
Katherine Gorringe
Catharine Axley
Emile Bokaer

Assistant Editors
Ben Bokaer
Francesca Enzler

Animation and Graphics
Treat Studios

Color Grading
Robert Arnold

Post-Production Consultant
Rejh Cabrera
Jesse Spencer

Digital Cinema Package


Juliet Mason

Alisa Selman
Chris Gauthier

Archival Research
Kenn Rabin
Lauren Knapp

Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Lisa Alvarado
Michael Berryhill
Jamille Bradfield
Liesl Copland
Marshall Curry
Lauren DeFilippo
Julie Doucet
Josh Dubin
N'Jeri Eaton
Rebecca Foster
Keith Fulton
Christian Gainsley
Lyle Gamm
Kelly Gindratt
Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz
Laura Green
Kristy Guevara Flanagan
Lisa Hasko
Hickory House Barbecue
Helen Hood Scheer
Andrew Horne
John Kane
Srdan Keca
Sylvia Komatsu
Dan Krauss
Jan Krawitz
Mary Lampson
Sherita Lindsey
Elizabeth Lo
Lameesa Logan
Luke Lorentzen
Jeff Malmberg
Mitche Manitou
Ginny Martin
Chris Metzler
Monte Meltzer
Stephanie Meltzer
Wendy Meltzer
Paul Meyers
Amanda Micheli
Richard Miles
Michelle Moore
Anna Moot-Levin
Carol Nacy
Peter Neufeld
Sara Newens
Jamie Page
Lou Pepe
Tijana Petrovic
Charlie Phillips
Gabriel Rhodes
Geoffrey Richman
Theo Rigby
Sasha Rosenbaum
Tedd Roundy
Martin Schapiro
Barry Scheck
Anita Soffar
Mina Son
Brian Stull
Jason Sussberg
Jean Tsien
Mark Urbanek
Craig Watkins
Forrest Wilder
Sharon Wildstein
Russell Wilson

Funding Provided by
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
Catapult Film Fund
Perspective Fund
San Francisco Film Society
The Filmmaker Fund
Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund
Zach Braff
Nancy Blachman
And others. A complete list available from PBS.

TRUE CONVICTION is a co-production of Freedom Fighters Documentary, LLC and Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), in association with Impact Partners.

This program was produced by Freedom Fighters Documentary, LLC, which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2017 Freedom Fighters Documentary, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Has anyone in your family been wrongly convicted and incarcerated? What else should we be doing to help investigate and free those who are wrongly imprisoned? Do you consider people like Christopher and his team to be heroes?


  • Tribeca Film Festival
    Special Jury Mention for Best Documentary Feature
  • Oak Cliff Film Festival
    Best Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize
  • Annapolis Film Festival
    Audience Award - Best Documentary
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Has anyone in your family been wrongly convicted and incarcerated? What else should we be doing to help investigate and free those who are wrongly imprisoned? Do you consider people like Christopher and his team to be heroes?