True Justice Family Ties: Is the Hallmark Film Inspired by Real Life?

Hallmark’s ‘True Justice: Family Ties’ is a crime drama film that centers around a law school student named Casey whose brother gets sentenced to life in prison without any possibility of parole for a crime he did not have any hand in. Shattered yet determined, Casey sets out to prove his brother’s innocence with the help of her friends. However, in order to do so, they all must work together and get to the bottom of the case by finding out the identity of the real perpetrator.

Starring Katherine McNamara, Markian Tarasiuk, Nikki DeLoach, and Benjamin Ayres, the suspenseful movie touches upon various realistic themes and elements, with the most prominent one being that of a wrongful conviction, which is not uncommon in real life. Given the fact that the entire plot is driven by it, the audience is bound to have questions regarding the authenticity of the tale.

True Justice: Family Ties is Not Based on a True Story

No, ‘True Justice: Family Ties’ is not based on a true story. However, given the parallels the subject matter shares with reality, it is likely that some instances might have been derived from reality in some form as the screenwriters — Nikki Deloach and Megan McNulty — weaved the storyline for the Hallmark movie. Having worked together as writers on the 2021 holiday film titled ‘Christmas for Keeps,’ Deloach and McNulty put their creative minds and excellent writing skills to good use to come up with the enthralling screenplay.

Wrongful conviction, which is the driving force of the narrative of ‘True Justice: Family Ties,’ isn’t something new or unheard of in reality. As a matter of fact, in March 2022, two wrongfully convicted brothers Melvin and George DeJesus who spent 25 years behind bars for a 1995 rape and murder they did not commit had their sentences overturned. After their exoneration, the two brothers seek $125 million in a wrongful conviction lawsuit. While Melvin met his daughter for the first time as a free man, George showed his disappointment as he was robbed of the opportunity to have his own children, like his brother.

Apart from real life, the themes and elements of someone getting sentenced for a crime they did not have a hand in also exist in the realm of movies and TV shows, which is why the Lifetime film might seem familiar to some of you. For instance, the Tony Goldwyn directorial, ‘Conviction,’ is a biographical crime drama film that touches upon a similar subject matter. Starring Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo, and Thomas D. Mahard, the narrative follows a working mother named Betty Anne Waters whose life turns upside down when she finds out that her brother is wrongfully convicted of murder, quite similar to what happens in ‘True Justice: Family Ties.’

Having used up every other option, Betty takes matters into her own hands literally as she goes to law school in order to represent her brother. Then, she tries to beat the system and overturn her brother’s wrongful conviction. With so many thematic similarities between the Lifetime production and the Tony Goldwyn directorial, one is likely to find the themes familiar. All in all, we can conclude that despite the connection with reality, ‘True Justice: Family Ties’ is just a work of fiction and nothing more.

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