Wrong Man – Evaristo Salas: The Letter
$13 General Admission
** A Q&A with special guests will follow the film **
At just 16-years old, Evaristo Junior Salas was sent to prison for three decades for a crime he says he did not commit. A team of the country’s leading investigators and legal minds come together to investigate whether Salas was brought to justice or railroaded by the system.
Presented in partnership with Washington Innocence Project on Wrongful Conviction Day.
Full episode description:
At just 16-years old, Evaristo Junior Salas was tried as an adult and sent to prison for 33 years for the murder of 24-year old Jose Arreola, who was gunned down in his pickup truck in front of his girlfriend and newborn baby. Local police couldn’t find the killer and the case went cold until a criminal informant identified Salas. For over two decades, Salas has insisted that he is innocent and claims that the justice system railroaded him. To uncover the truth, a team of the country’s leading investigators and legal minds join forces to investigate Salas’ claims of wrongful conviction. They travel to the scene of the crime in Sunnyside, Washington – a small farming town with a history of gang violence – to track down witnesses, examine forensic evidence, and chase leads that the local police never followed up on. Just when the state’s case is starting to unravel, a visit to meet Salas in prison throws the whole investigation into question. The team will have to dig deeper to find out whether the system really got the wrong man.
"Wrong Man" Series Synopsis
“Wrong Man” is a six-episode series from acclaimed award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost Trilogy) that examines cases of inmates who have been incarcerated for decades and claim they’re innocent.
Three cases are re-investigated, each over the course of two episodes, with the help of an esteemed and engaging group of experts: a renowned civil rights attorney, a former prosecutor, a retired NCIS investigator, and a member of Detroit’s elite Homicide Task Force. Together, they are joined by local investigators who take us on a vérité journey to hunt for new evidence, track down witnesses, interview often reluctant law enforcement, and spend time with the families of the incarcerated.
The series takes an in-depth look at the following cases. Evaristo Salas was 16 years old in 1997 when he was sentenced as an adult to 33 years in Washington state prison. His conviction for murder was based on two witnesses, including a confidential police informant who came forward to our investigators and recanted his testimony on camera. After hours of taped police interrogation, Christopher Tapp confessed to killing and sexually assaulting an 18-year-old girl in Idaho; Tapp says he was coerced by police and, despite the fact that the DNA at the scene belonged to someone else, the jury could not see beyond his confession. Curtis Flowers is on death row; he’s been a defendant for two decades, tried by the same Mississippi District Attorney six times for committing a quadruple murder he says he had no part in.
“Wrong Man” digs relentlessly into each case, going beyond questions about the guilt or innocence of three men. Academy Award® nominated and Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker Berlinger continues to dedicate his filmmaking career to exposing abuses and problems in the criminal justice system.