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Frontline: Season 2002

2002x09 Requiem for Frank Lee Smith

  • 2002-04-12T01:00:00Z on PBS
  • 50 mins
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary, News

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?