A wrongful conviction story that spotlights Thurgood Marshall's experiences as a lawyer for the fledgling NAACP before he took on Brown v. Board of Education
On New Year's Eve, 1939, a horrific triple murder occurred in rural Oklahoma. Within a matter of days, investigators identified the killers: convicts on work release who had been at a craps game with one of the victims the night before. As anger at authorities grew, political pressure mounted to find a scapegoat. The governor's representative settled on a young black farmhand named W.D. Lyons. Lyons was arrested, tortured into signing a confession, and tried for the murder. The NAACP's new Legal Defense and Education Fund sent its young chief counsel, Thurgood Marshall, to take part in the trial. The organization desperately needed money, and Marshall was convinced that the Lyons case could be a fundraising boon for both the state and national organizations. He was right. The case went on to the US Supreme Court, and the NAACP raised much-needed money from the publicity. Unfortunately, not everything went according to Marshall's plan. Filled with dramatic plot twists, Conviction is the story of the oft-forgotten case that set Marshall and the NAACP on the path that ultimately led to victory in Brown v. Board of Education and the accompanying social revolution in the United States.