Wrong Man Season 2 Review: Joe Berlinger's Dream Team Tries Changing Three More Lives

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Sometimes, the Wrong Man is the Wrong WoMan.

When Wrong Man Season 2 premieres this Sunday, series creator Joe Berlinger steps away from the title to explore how women, too, can find themselves unable to extricate themselves from a justice system that does them wrong.

The Wrong Man Season 1 produced actual results, so those inmates involved would be hard-pressed not to get their hopes up as a result of being a part of Berlinger's series.

Wrong Man Season 2 Poster

Season 1 death row inmate Curtis Flowers saw his conviction overturned in the case of a quadruple murder after being prosecuted for it six times by the same prosecutor.

If not for the team on Wrong Man, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas acknowledged, Flowers could still be on death row today.

Christopher Tapp served 21 years behind bars for the rape and murder of an 18-year-old girl after he was coerced into confessing.

For those of you who would like to know more about what happened after the camera stopped rolling for Wrong Man Season 1, you can visit the Starz App for a highlight reel with updates to the cases.

A Happy Ending on Wrong Man Season 1

Wrong Man's investigation revealed genetic evidence matching the true killer and helped free an innocent man.

The team doing the investigating consists of civil rights attorney Ron Kuby, a former prosecutor named Sue-Ann Robinson, a retired NCIS investigator named Joe Kennedy, and a member of Detroit's Homicide Task Force named Ira Todd.

Their pooled insight opens many avenues of discussion that you would cherish whether you were already convicted or facing a life behind bars should your trial go wrong.

Something that I find incredibly interesting is that both women scrutinized who might have been wrongfully convicted are charged with having killed other women and their children.

Joe Berlinger and His Dream Team

In the cast of Vonda Smith, she's convicted of killing the 12-year-old mother of her grandchild who was pregnant at the time.

Patricia Rorrer was convicted in 1998 of murdering a young mother named Joann Katrinak as well as her 15-week old infant son.

These are brutal, aggressive crimes in their own right, but that their attorneys were unable to build a credible case in their defense seems unbelievable.

That's why the team of expert witnesses has a lot to chew on as they go the rounds with old evidence, witnesses, and potential suspects that never got investigated as they should have.

Vonda Smith Wrong Man Season 2

Little things that you never realize at the time you're doing them can mean your future. If you're attending a dance class and consider not signing in, rethink that.

That's an actual flaw in Patricia Rorrer's alibi that helped convict her.

Another thing that worked against her was hair analysis, and as the team works through what was found, it offers another layer ot how easy it is to get convicted of a crime even if you had no part of it.

Smith's case, in particular, provides a revelation that makes the miscarriage of justice even more audacious and makes me wonder whether prosecutors have an equal understanding of women and crime as they do with men.

The third case follows a black man named Kenneth Clair. Another death row inmate, Clair is convicted of killing Linda Rodgers in 1994. There is no forensic evidence tying him to the crime and the only eyewitness was a five-year-old child who claimed to have seen a white man.

Kenneth Clair Wrong Man Season 2

What I found the most compelling about this investigation as it unfolded is the use of a linguistics expert to ascertain whether the very words that Claire used in conversations to convict him could have had meaning not otherwise familiar to investigators and a jury who didn't share the same cultural references as Clair.

Also worthy of note is that the investigators don't always come to a consensus on their discoveries which makes their digging all the more compelling.

If investigators with a wealth of experience cannot come to a consensus on any given piece of evidence, how hard must it be for a jury to do so with any measure of confidence?

Watching teams of investigators working on cases like this offers a view of what it must be like to have the money to put up a legal defense worth its weight in gold. 

That's something that most people will never experience, so filmmakers taking an interest in righting the wrongs of the past gives hope to many across the country that they, too, could prevail if they don't give up.

Patricia Rorrer Wrong Man Season 2

These there but for the grace of God go I situations will always make for fascinating viewing.

Berlinger has an understanding of the documentary process that ensures Wrong Man stands above the many other series that proliferate television at the moment.

The others are no less interesting to watch, of course, but knowing how far this team has gone to effect change already, better understanding the avenues they take and the way they chip away at the standing conviction is fascinating.

If you're a fan of true crime stories, Wrong Man is a series you need to begin watching now.

Wrong Man Season 2 premieres on Starz directly following the series premiere of Power on Sunday, February 9 only on Starz.


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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