A 16-year old is sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. One day he is going to high school, worrying about girls and homework, the next day he is arrested for a murder he had nothing to do with and is locked up, never to see the outside again. Twenty years go by while he writes hundreds of letters from prison proclaiming his innocence. Against all odds, he manages to get a retrial, where the prosecutor from his original trial starts crying on the stand, admitting that there were doubts about his case all along (as evidenced in this ABC7 videobelow). But somehow in the face of injustice, during 20 long years of incarceration, Franky keeps his spirit alive.
Young Franky with his dad
Franky the teenager with his father and siblings, before he was arrested
Frank Carrillo in prison
Franky’s (shared) cell at Folsom
Franky at his retrial 20 years later
Grabbing his arm is attorney Ellen Eggers who led the effort to free him and represented him pro bono
Franky on the day of his release after 20 years
Franky the college student
Franky the activist
(on his left is Scott Wood, Director, Restorative Justice Program,
Loyola Marymount University, who worked his case and with whom Franky currently lives)
Strangers is produced by Lea Thau.