‘REMAND’: How the story of a Ugandan teenager wrongfully accused led to reform

College students contained in the Smothers Theater cheer because the movie ‘REMAND’ closes August 30. Many individuals from the Pepperdine group attended the screening. Photograph of Marie Elisabeth

The movie ‘REMAND’ follows a Ugandan teenager going through two homicide fees who, with no courtroom date in sight, had given up hope of being launched. In keeping with the film.

College students watched the 2017 movie on the Smothers Theater on August 30 and heard the story of Ugandan teenager Henry Tumusiime and President Jim Gash. Gash fought for Tumusiime’s innocence whereas inspiring justice reforms for the complete nation, in accordance with the movie.

“Greater than something, it is a film a few nation making an attempt to enhance itself and produce justice to its individuals,” Gash mentioned. “It’s proven by way of the eyes of a person prisoner, whose life has really turn out to be the catalyst for large legal justice reform within the nation.”

The Sudreau Institute for Global Justice produced and arranged the current screening of “REMAND”. The group works to redress systemic injustices in communities around the globe, in accordance with the Sudreau World Justice Institute web site. The group intends to create fairness on the earth by way of their work, mentioned Cameron McCollum, director of the Sudreau World Institute.

“What the World Justice Institute actually is is basically a world non-profit group based mostly on the Caruso Faculty of Regulation right here at Pepperdine,” McCollum mentioned. “Our mission is to make entry to justice a actuality for everybody, in every single place.”

The title of the movie, “REMAN”, means “to stay indefinitely and desperately in jail whereas awaiting trial”, in accordance with the movie website.

Hope Dease, a justice specialist on the Sudreau World Justice Institute, mentioned Ugandan prisoners should not have the suitable to a speedy trial like individuals in the USA.

“Individuals shall be held in remand for a mean of six to seven years earlier than their case is reviewed,” Dease mentioned. “That features Excessive Courtroom circumstances like defilement and aggravated theft and that kind of factor, but additionally circumstances like I’ve simply stolen a loaf of bread from Ralphs and been in jail for seven years with out talking. to a single lawyer.”

The Global Institute's Seth Bamburg, Hope Dease and Cameron McCollum smile together outside the Smothers Theater after the screening.  The three worked with a team to host the screening for the Pepperdine community.  Photo of Marie Elisabeth
The World Institute’s Seth Bamburg, Hope Dease and Cameron McCollum smile collectively outdoors the Smothers Theater after the screening. The three labored with a staff to host the screening for the Pepperdine group. Photograph by Mary Elisabeth Photograph credit score: Mary Elisabeth

Senior Katie Worth mentioned seeing historical past unfold earlier than her was a transferring expertise.

“It was actually highly effective to see an actual face as a result of I heard her [Dease] discuss circumstances, and I’ve heard her discuss jail overload and her seeing it, but it surely’s arduous to essentially perceive when you’re not the one seeing it,” Worth mentioned.

The movie confirmed as Tumusiime and his brother have been going to high school, a neighborhood mob beat up and killed a thief who stole cash from Tumusiime’s household dwelling. With no suspects, the Ugandan authorities arrested the boys and their father for the homicide, paying no consideration to the truth that on the time of demise the boys have been on the close by college.

Whereas in juvenile jail, fellow inmates elected Tumusiime as chief. Rose, the jail warden, ordered one other prisoner to be crushed, leading to his demise. The Ugandan authorities charged Tumisiime with the homicide in addition to Rose for his management throughout the jail.

Protection attorneys assigned to defend each Tumusiime and Rose blamed Tumusiime, resulting in a second homicide conviction. Gash labored to have that wrongful conviction corrected, in accordance with the movie. After working with native officers and a staff of attorneys, Gash acquired Tumusiime out of behind bars with a 12 months’s probation. Nevertheless, the conviction remained on his file.

The movie adopted each step of Gash’s mission to clear Tumusiime’s legal file so he might be a free man. On June 19, 2015, after spending two years in jail, the courts determined that the sentence can be expunged. A lawyer couldn’t defend each Rose and Tumusiime with out being prejudiced in opposition to one in every of them. Tumusiime turned a free man.

After the movie was proven, Gash referred to as Tumusiime by way of Zoom to indicate these in attendance the place he’s and what he’s doing now.

Tumusiime mentioned he hoped to turn out to be a working towards physician in Uganda, a feat that will have been unimaginable with out his wrongful conviction waiver, Gash mentioned.

“It was vital that I wished to turn out to be a health care provider, and it was very, very troublesome for me to turn out to be a health care provider with conviction,” Tumusiime mentioned.

Chairman Jim Gash stands on stage at the Smothers Theater during a Zoom call with Tumusiime after the screening.  Tumusiime joined the Zoom call from his home in Uganda to talk about his life now.  Photo by Audrey Geib
Chairman Jim Gash stands on stage on the Smothers Theater throughout a Zoom name with Tumusiime after the screening. Tumusiime joined the Zoom name from his dwelling in Uganda to speak about his life now. Photograph by Audrey Geib

After the exoneration, Tumusiime attended his nation’s medical college to acquire a level in medication and surgical procedure. He’s now a surgeon in Uganda. Joseph Tumusiime, Tumusiime’s youthful brother, hopes to turn out to be a lawyer.

“Joseph is now in regulation college,” Tumusiime mentioned. “I feel he solely has a number of months to turn out to be a lawyer as properly.”

Gash mentioned Tumusiime now owns and operates a hospital in his hometown offering medical help to communities.

Senior Carter Lentz mentioned he loved seeing how arduous Gash fought for Tumsiime’s exoneration so he may transfer ahead in life as a free man.

“I feel one thing actually highly effective was seeing how Jim did not simply get the one-year probation and say that was sufficient,” Lentz mentioned. “He went on and fought for the exemption in order that he [Tumusiime] may go to medical college.

Tumusiime mentioned his mom usually visited him in jail, regardless of her efforts to maintain him away. He thought he would by no means be launched and that it was higher for her to remain away. Throughout her visits, she reminded her of the love and the Phrase of God.

“She used to inform me that generally God makes use of what you assume is a foul factor to do good, and I nonetheless consider that,” Tumusiime mentioned.

Worth mentioned the movie highlights the concept everybody deserves a good authorized course of, whether or not responsible or wrongfully accused.

“There’s the attitude that even people who find themselves so responsible and have dedicated horrific crimes nonetheless deserve justice as a result of everybody else is doing it,” Worth mentioned.

Seaver students walk out of the theater with copies of the book
Seaver college students stroll out of the theater with copies of the e-book “Divine Collision” on the finish of the August 30 screening. Gash and Tumusiime have written a e-book about their experiences and their journey collectively. Photograph by Mary Elisabeth Photograph credit score: Mary Elisabeth

Gash mentioned he hopes this thirst for world justice will attain college students outdoors of regulation college and turn out to be a university-wide aim.

“The regulation college has been very engaged within the creating world, significantly in making an attempt to deliver justice to those that haven’t had it and we look ahead to this being a university-wide enterprise,” Gash mentioned.


Comply with the graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic

E-mail to Audrey Geib: audrey.geib@pepperdine.edu

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