WE tv has just announced a very unexpected addition to their Love After Lockup franchise! Producers Sharp Entertainment are leaving the relationship drama they are so famous for behind as they focus on documenting real life stories of wrongful convictions.
The three-part Love After Lockup: Innocent After Lockup special presents Americans who were falsely convicted of a crime that resulted in more than 15 years in prison.
All of those featured in the series have since been exonerated, and they “are currently at various stages of suing the state or federal government for financial compensation for their time unjustly spent behind bars,” the network’s press release reveals.
The new limited series is a fit for the Love After Lockup brand as each of the exoneree’s stories will include “their families, including the wives and girlfriends whose love sustained their partner through the darkest hours, the reintegration into society, and their present battle for some form of justice.”
Love After Lockup: Innocent After Lockup premieres December 15 at 10:30/9:30c on WE tv.
Some background information on wrongful convictions in the US from the press release:
In the United States between 1989 – 2021, there were over 2,800 documented exonerations: an average of 32 per year. With the increased focus on unjust convictions and advancement of scientific procedures, in 2022 there were 238 exonerations, a mind-boggling 644% increase.
Love After Lockup: Innocent After Lockup personalizes those heartbreaking statistics of wrongful incarceration in America by telling the remarkable personal journeys of three exonerees who fought for over a decade to vindicate themselves and are now caught in another lengthy fight to receive recompense for lost years.
Love After Lockup: Innocent After Lockup preview trailer
Love After Lockup: Innocent After Lockup cast
WE tv’s press release for the special included photos and bios of the exonerees that will be featured. The list only includes three men, so it is unclear who the woman is at the beginning of the Love After Lockup: Innocent After Lockup preview trailer who mentions that she was convicted of murder at the age of 16.
Taron Hill, Age 35
Taron was wrongfully convicted of a double homicide in 2004 at age 18, spent 16.5 years in prison and was exonerated in 2021. As of December 2023, Taron has not received a settlement from the state of New Jersey and continues to seek compensation.
Calvin Buari, Age 51
Arrested 1993 in the Bronx, Calvin, age 21, was sentenced in 1995 to 50 years to life for double homicide. He spent 22 years in prison before being exonerated in March 2018, after three new witnesses came forward and stated Calvin was not the shooter. After his exoneration, Calvin sued New York State for the wrongful conviction and received $8 million of which he netted just under $5 million. He received the final $2.7 million of his settlement in February 2022.
Ru-El Sailor, Age 42
At the age of 23, Ru-El was sentenced to 28 years to life for a murder that he did not commit. No physical or DNA evidence was present, and with the help of his wife, Amy, he was exonerated 15 years later. Ru-El’s co-defendant Cordell Hubbard confessed to the murder and is serving a life sentence. As of December 2023, Ru-El has received compensation from the state and continues to seek compensation from the City of Cleveland.
News of the Innocent After Lockup special comes after reports of Sharp Entertainment working on a Love After Lockup special focussing on the backgrounds of some of the franchise’s inmates.
This is purely speculation on my part, but I see these two specials as a clear indication that Sharp Entertainment will soon be expanding more into true crime.
They are some of the best story tellers in reality television, but a huge part of the Sharp Entertainment reality TV recipe for success has always included cast members and situations that inspire cringing, face palming, derision, and memes.
Those are ingredients they will not be able to lean on much with conventional true crime content. I, for one, am very excited to see what they are able to do!
PHOTOS: Courtesy of WE tv.