By Dan Clendenin
Long Shot (2017)
This forty-minute crime documentary by Netflix Originals is equal parts terrifying and infuriating. On August 12, 2003, Juan Ignacio Catalan (born 1978) was arrested early one morning at his work place. He was charged with murdering a sixteen-year-old girl, eventually placed in a super max prison for the worst criminals, and faced the possibility of a death sentence. But he didn’t commit the crime. In fact, at the time of the murder, he was at a Dodgers baseball game with his daughter. Not to spoil the movie, but through a series of wildly improbable events, the dogged persistence of defense attorney Todd Melnik, and the co-operation of Catalan’s girl friend, the LA Dodgers, HBO, and Nextel, Catalan was able to prove exactly where he was at the time of the murder. The movie draws upon audio and video recordings of Catalan’s interrogation by two LAPD detectives, and even the trial itself. It’s terrifying to think what could have happened to him, and infuriating to witness what the two detectives and the prosecutor did. In the end, Catalan won a $320,000 settlement against the LAPD, and the two detectives were disciplined.
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