Exhibit A Season 1, Episode 1, “Video Forensics” is insightful in changing our view on video footage, but then it becomes a different story entirely.
This recap of Netflix’s Exhibit A Season 1, Episode 1, “Video Forensics” contains spoilers. You can read our full review of season 1 by clicking these words.
A picture is worth a thousand words. That was the biggest take I got from Exhibit A episode 1, “Video Forensics”. In the first 10 minutes of the opening chapter, experts detail why video footage is not precisely concrete evidence. Video footage is another witness, and the people watching it draw their conclusions of the crime scenes as new witnesses, all theorising their determination of what happened.
“Video Forensics” teaches the audience that footage is highly manipulative, and it is necessary to handle with due care when submitted for forensics. For example, Exhibit A episode 1 shows how easy it is to change the frame per seconds to draw alternative interpretations or slow down the images so you can truly see what happened during a violent encounter.
Then episode 1 turns to George. Exhibit A provides a potential injustice of a man that has been chased by the police department in Texas all his life, and he claims to have been stitched up for a store robbery. In the footage, a man walks in, points a gun at the cashier and demands they empty the till and hand over the money. “Video Forensics” is approached in a way where the police were eager to land the conviction, with cash prizes for anyone who claims it was George who committed the crime.
The problem is, George was not the right height to fit the crime and episode 1 details how they used the video footage to sentence him to 28 years in prison. “Video Forensics” is convincing to prove that the footage undeniably shows the man who robbed the store was not George’s height, and then the expert witness was not well-equipped to report to the court on his findings.
While I sympathise with all stories like this, episode 1, “Video Forensics” becomes more about the police community trying to land George rather than the downfalls of using video to prosecute someone. Exhibit A episode 1 sways away from tackling the subject matter and details George’s story, and how he is a victim of implemented injustice.
Regardless, if George is innocent, then this should not be happening. If the height does not fit, then how on earth can you land someone in jail for that crime.
Our coverage continues – to read the recap of the second episode, click these words
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.