by Cary Holley
120 Years Tells a Much-Needed Story About the Current State of Our Criminal Justice System
[image from The Yale Herald]
On this Wednesday, October 17th, BARS will be hosting a screening and Q&A of the film 120 Years. The film, produced and directed by college students, tells the story of Scott Lewis, who was wrongfully convicted for almost 20 years.
In April of 1991, Scott Lewis was arrested for a double homicide by New Haven Detective Vincent Raucci. Detective Raucci was known as a “dirty cop” in the community and framed Lewis for a crime that he did not commit.  After Lewis decided to end his involvement in the town’s drug trade, Detective Raucci, who was involved in illegal activities himself, conspired alongside Lewis’ former superiors to frame him for murder.  Raucci framed Lewis through threatening witnesses and blackmailing individuals into giving false statements.  For fourteen years, Lewis fought the case all by himself and never yielded in claiming his innocence.  Until finally winning his release in 2014, Lewis served 19 years behind bars.  His original punishment was a life sentence of 120 years, which inspired the name of the documentary. 
The story of Scott Lewis is one of perseverance and strength on his part, but it also highlights the capacity for corruption and injustice in our system today. The fact that one corrupt cop was able to irreversibly alter the trajectory of an innocent man’s life is inexcusable. Although Lewis’ charges have been dropped, he will never be able to get those near twenty years behind bars back. The first step in ensuring that such grave injustice never reoccurs is to be made aware of the extent of the problem, and 120 Years offers this essential lesson. BARS will be hosting a screening and Q&A of 120 Years on October 17th at 5pm at 3401Walnut Street in the Max Kade Center.
- 120 Years site
- The Innocence Project
- Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom
Filmmakers of 120 Years alongside Scott Lewis
[image from wshu radio]
 120 Years trailer
 Lieberman, Elise. “Fighting for Freedom, Finding Forgiveness.” The Yale Herald. 14 September 2018. https://yaleherald.com/fighting-for-freedom-finding-forgiveness-7da1468b2316
 Buchner, Bill. “After 19 Years of Wrongful Imprisonment, New Haven Man’s Story Told in New Documentary. WSHU Public Radio. 7 September 2018. http://www.wshu.org/post/after-19-years-wrongful-imprisonment-new-haven-man-s-story-told-new-documentary#stream/0