Direct TV commercial demonizes wrongly convicted

Fresh off a survey published in Legal and Criminal Psychology showing that many people show “contemptuous prejudice” toward the wrongly convicted, Direct TV is running a commercial that could make perceptions even worse.

The commercial apparently first ran in 2012, but it is now back on the airwaves. It shows how a lawyer who endured the frustrations of relying on cable TV failed to do his job, leading to his client’s wrongful conviction. It then shows the wrongly convicted man in prison longing for the day he can have his revenge on the attorney. The final scene shows the lawyer’s house blowing up as he arrives home one day.

The intended message is that cable TV is bad for you and that you should get Direct TV. But another message is that the wrongly convicted are angry and dangerous people when they are released. This is exactly the wrong kind of message those struggling to overcome a wrongful conviction need.

8 responses to “Direct TV commercial demonizes wrongly convicted

  1. For those that I know, who were wrongfully convicted, and for most of those I have read about, they seem to have a peace of mind that I can only dream about. It’s counter-intuitive. I have a great admiration for those I have met.

  2. This is very disturbing to hear. Someone needs to start a petition on to Direct TV to stop the ad or stop using their services.

  3. I have seen those commercials and I think they should be pulled. I also believe they leave the viewer with the wrong impression. I have yet to read of any accounts of the wrongfully convicted seeking vengeance upon their release, quite the opposite. Many work with the same advocacy groups to make improvements in the justice system.

  4. Mark,
    I think you miss the whole point here. The commercial is in far more bad taste not based on politically incorrect correct views of angry convicted people or wrongfully convicted people, but WHOLELY on the insensitivity and timing of the recent BOMBINGS at the Boston Marathon, The first such tragic bombing event terrorist related since 911. The fact that Direct TV first aired the commercial in 2012 is no fault of theirs. But for them to bring it back now, knowing that the blowing up of one’s home is actually more in the realm of reality now more than ever as opposed to farce or satire which clearly they are going for in the commercial is unbelievable. It always confounds me that a company the size of a Direct TV (a public company no less) with so many employees (and thus brainpower) has the inability to reach the same conclusion and prevent the airing of this commercial. Just imagine for one moment (@ marketing executives of direct tv) if you were in hospital or at home bed ridden (or one of your children or loved ones were) because both of your legs had been recently blow to smitherines while you were running in the Boston Marathon with the intent to raise money for charity or even for self accomplishment and you saw this commercial aired? If I am wrong about your ignorance, and you are willfully airing this based on controversy in hopes of selling more subscriptions, then you are even more grotesque. Either way, you are a pure loser, financially and morally.


  5. Sorry, I incorrectly addressed the article author as Mark, instead of Martin.

  6. Glenn:

    I thought about mentioning the obvious insensitivity toward the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings but decided not to because this is a blog about wrongful convictions and I saw criticisms of the ad’s poor taste in light of the Boston bombings elsewhere. This commercial is in poor taste on both counts.

  7. When I do get the opportunity to share with people in general about our daughter who was wrongfully convicted of a crime she did not commit, they always seem to have that puzzled look on their face and I think possibly they are just overwhelmed by what can they say to me, to help this horrible situation, they just don’t know how to answer. Are people just afraid to know that this does happen in America, it does happen in our society and great democracy, in some cases justice has gone very bad! Our daughter now sets in a prison doing a 15-life sentence for a crime she simply did not commit, she wasn’t there when the crime was committed. People around us are still shocked, they are still overwhelmed. Everyday it seems you hear more hideous stories about innocent people being thrown into prison, but they are factually innocent, like our daughter.
    She waits and her children wait for real true justice, while the killers of her boyfriend go free……..for now!

  8. Can you really blame them for being angry?
    Should that happen to me, I massive vengeance I would have

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