Exclusive ID FILM Examines the Case of Florida Death-Row Inmate Tommy Zeigler, Who Has Been on Death Row for 38 Years, in A QUESTION OF INNOCENCE Premiering on Friday, July 11 at 10/9c
(Beverly Hills, CA) Investigation Discovery (ID) announced today the premiere of the exclusive documentary film A QUESTION OF INNONCENCE, a very timely look at the balance on our scales of justice – and, specifically, the state of the death penalty in the United States through the eyes of Tommy Zeigler, a man who has been sitting on Florida State Prison’s death row for almost four decades. In light of the already strong evidence, supporters believe Zeigler did not receive a fair trial, and the potential for current DNA tests to reveal crucial new evidence has his legal team and supporters hoping for a reprieve. On the other side of that “scale,” Florida Governor Rick Scott has started a campaign to clear out death row by accelerating the schedule of upcoming executions, with the next one set for Thursday, July 10. Narrated by actor Bruce Greenwood, Investigation Discovery will premiere A QUESTION OF INNOCENCE on Friday, July 11 at 10/9c.
“Cases like Tommy Zeigler’s are what raise not only ethical and moral questions about the state of the death penalty in the United States, but help to shine a light on faults in the American justice system,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President, Investigation Discovery, Destination America, American Heroes Channel and Discovery Fit & Health. “It is our intention to premiere this documentary, which was created exclusively for ID FILMS, in the hopes that Mr. Zeigler’s story will incite a call-to-action for those whose innocence may still be in question but not have much time… or hope, like Tommy Ziegler.”
ABOUT TOMMY ZEIGLER’S CASE
By all accounts, Tommy and Eunice Zeigler had the ideal marriage and the makings of a prosperous life in Winter Garden, Fla. They were known for their generosity, with Eunice taking on caretaker responsibilities for the family and Tommy building a reputation as a generous and civic-minded business man at the W.T. Zeigler furniture store he owned and managed with his parents. The 1960s and ‘70s was a turbulent time to own a business in the South, but Zeigler was always good to African-American migrant workers and extended credit to many who were down and out.
The Zeiglers’ fairytale life came to an end on Christmas Eve, 1975. It should have been a day for celebration, but for Zeigler and his retail responsibilities it meant racing against the clock to complete the jammed delivery schedule. Eagerly waiting for him to finish were Eunice and her parents, Perry and Virginia Edwards, who gathered at the store to pick out a new recliner for Christmas. Zeigler returned to the store around 7 p.m. and found the lights not working. Out of the darkness, he was attacked by two intruders and attempted to defend himself but all hell broke loose. He scrambled to the desk drawer where he kept his gun and shot at his attackers, still unable to make out their faces in the pitch black. Suddenly, Zeigler was shot. When police investigators arrived at the scene, they discovered Eunice, her father, her mother, and an African-American customer, Charlie Mays, all shot dead. Zeigler was rushed to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach… or, at least, that is how Zeigler described the events.
On July 16, 1976, William Thomas Zeigler was sentenced to death for four murders he claims he didn’t commit. Thirty-eight years later, he is still on Florida State Prison’s death row and hoping for a reprieve, but his time is running out. Florida Governor Rick Scott is on a campaign to clear out death row and it is the state’s responsibility to make sure the sentences are carried out as quickly as possible. Governor Scott has presided over 18 executions, including 13 in the last two years, the most executions carried out by any Florida governor in a single term since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s. He will continue to execute death-row prisoners who have exhausted all their appeals.
Florida private investigator Lynn-Marie Carty believes Zeigler has been wrongfully convicted and has recently uncovered new evidence to support his innocence. She is also on the trail of the person she believes is the real killer, but is she too late? The clock is ticking on Zeigler’s life. With no more appeals left and having been on death row longer than another other inmate, the chances are extremely high that he will face death by lethal injection by the end of 2014.
In a special documentary event, A QUESTION OF INNOCENCE premieres on Friday, July 11 at 10/9c as part of the ID FILMS strand, the television home for projects that shine a light on important, overlooked aspects of our justice system and showcase compelling stories of mystery, intrigue, and determination.
A QUESTION OF INNOCENCE is produced for Investigation Discovery by Mystique Films with Christian Bruyere as executive producer. For Investigation Discovery, Ron Simon is executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, Kevin Bennett is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is Group President of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, and Discovery Fit & Health.
About Mystique Films Ltd.
Mystique Films Ltd. is a Vancouver, B.C. based film and television production company which has produced 200+ hours of programs seen in over 40 countries. Mystique Films has produced numerous television movies, feature films and documentary specials such as; Children of the Tsunami, Sanctuary: A New Life for Research Chimps, and My Big Fat Diet and series such as Beyond Invention and Healing with Animals. The company recently co-produced Murder She Solved, a true crime series which currently runs on Investigation Discovery.
About Investigation Discovery
Investigation Discovery (ID) is the leading mystery-and-suspense network on television and America’s favorite “guilty pleasure.” From harrowing crimes and salacious scandals to the in-depth investigations and heart-breaking mysteries that result, ID challenges our everyday understanding of culture, society and the human condition. One of our nation’s fastest growing cable networks, ID delivers the highest-quality programming to nearly 85 million U.S. households and is available in both high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD). For more information, please visit InvestigationDiscovery.com, facebook.com/InvestigationDiscovery, or twitter.com/DiscoveryID. Investigation Discovery is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world’s #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 2 billion cumulative subscribers in 220 countries and territories.
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