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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

PBS Guilty -- of Recycling Title 'Presumed Guilty'

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 3:59 PM

click to enlarge Wait. This sounds familiar...
  • Wait. This sounds familiar...
Tonight at 10:30 , local PBS affiliate KQED airs Presumed Guilty, the highly acclaimed documentary by U.C. Berkeley lawyers Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete. The two naif filmmakers shined a light on the fate of Tono Zuniga, who was railroaded into a hefty sentence for a murder he didn't commit.

The filmmakers are to be commended. PBS, however is to be chastised for choosing the name Presumed Guilty. On top of playing off a cliched phrase, local viewers may recall that PBS earlier ran a documentary about San Francisco's public defenders called ... yes, Presumed Guilty.

click to enlarge rsz_presumed_guilty_public_defenders.jpg
That series -- which featured a young Jeff Adachi, by the way -- still occupies the No. 1 Google position for the search "presumed guilty" and many after that.

Hey -- we're sure both shows are excellent -- gripping and original. But the same can't be said for their titles.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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