For all its pot smoking, mayhem and general knuckleheadery, Tim Blake Nelson’s Leaves of Grass is more than anything a sharp comedy of manners with a hefty amount of heart.

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September 19, 2010 · Posted in Now Playing  
    

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In November 2000, 27 African American citizens of the tiny town of Hearne, Texas were swept up by the local police and tossed into jail on charges of dealing crack. Unable to afford bail, most of them spent months behind bars, eventually giving in to pressure from their court-appointed lawyer to escape prison time by pleading guilty to lesser charges. Now convicted felons, they discovered that they’d signed away most of their rights as American citizens, ruining their own lives at the same moment they’d taken that desperate step to save them.

One woman, young single mother Regina Kelly, refused to play that game. Kelly fought the charges, enlisted the aid of the ACLU, and filed suit against the police and the district attorney who’d been conducting similar raids for years in order to bolster their arrest and conviction statistics.

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May 6, 2009 · Posted in Now Playing