American Justice


Series 1 - Episode 3 Reckoning



This excellent series has given a stark insight into the workings of criminal justice in a violent corner of Florida. Its style may be coolly observational but it paints a picture of a system driven by the politics of elected prosecutors and – to our eyes – inhuman sentences.

This programme was still being completed as RT went to press, but it focuses on the fact that in Florida, children charged with the most serious crimes can be tried in adult courts – and given adult sentences.

Jeremiah Hill shot a man during a gun trade when he was 13 years old. He now faces the possibility of decades in prison. The conversation he has in a custody suite with his heartbroken mother is hard to forget.


When he was 12 years old, Sharron Townsend was arrested for shooting a homeless man in the head. Now aged 14, he is facing justice. As this edition reveals, in Florida, children can be transferred to adult courts at the discretion of the State Attorney, so there is no upper limit on Sharron's sentence. Cameras also follow Jeremiah Hill, who shot a man during a gun trade when he was 13 years old. Now the justice system must decide how best to protect society.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Shaun Dooley
Director Arthur Cary
Director Jonathan Taylor
Executive Producer Colin Barr
Executive Producer Katie Buchanan
Producer Anna Ryder
Producer Gaby Aung
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