State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith Review – Truth VS Bias

Truth VS Bias

 

Alabama has an awful track record when it comes to convictions for women and minorities. Located along the “Bible Belt” in the US, the case of Brittany Smith was a hot topic back in 2018 and since then, has been rife with debates on both sides of the argument over whether this woman was justified in using force to murder an attacker inside her own home.

“Upon consideration of all the evidence, the court finds that the defendant has given inconsistent accounts of the events surrounding Todd’s death, beginning with the 911 call … and has attempted to alter or destroy evidence,” The judge wrote. “The court further finds that the defendant’s testimony about material facts was significantly at odds with the physical evidence, exhibits and other witness testimony.”

Given how much back and forth discussion there is for Brittany Smith’s case, it’s a little disappointing then that Netflix’s documentary on the topic dedicates a whole… 40 minutes to the topic. And to make matters worse, it’s also rather biased.

Directed by Ryan White, the documentary tells the harrowing story of how Brittany Smith killed a man called Todd inside her home when he turned violent and brutally attacked and choked her. Brittany then shot him dead in self-defence when he held her brother Chris in a headlock and threatened to kill them all.

Intent on using Alabama’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, which allows one the right to use excessive force to protect oneself, Brittany’s story is one that reinforces the stereotype against women who end up getting convicted and forced into accepting a plea deal to avoid life behind bars.

Now just to preface, I’m not about to cast judgment on whether Brittany Smith was correct or not, in fact I actually think she is personally, but as a balanced critic, it’s important to take a look at everything presented in this documentary… and what’s been omitted.

12 minutes in, we see actual footage captured from the scene, with Brittany in a state of panic and retorting that “he [Todd] raped me.” However, on the 911 call presented in court, complete with the transcript she confirms that he didn’t. And then goes on to say “I don’t know” when asked about why she lied to the prosecution. Furthermore, Brittany also lied about who shot Todd, claiming originally that it was her brother and then changing that to incriminate herself.

This, of course, brings up big doubts about her credibility and if this had gone to a jury trial, it’s fair to say many may have questioned this too.

On the flip side, panic and fear can make one do crazy things and it could well be that Brittany wasn’t thinking straight that night, explaining her conflicting accounts. There’s also a good deal of argument backing up why she phoned her mum rather than the police to get Todd out the house that night, going on to explain the awful track record police in the county have with domestic disputes.

Despite that though, the documentary does work to shine a spotlight on a crooked justice system that grips large parts of the United States. The fact that so many women have had convictions against them for self-defence is pretty damning unto itself and that side of the documentary – exploring the bias against women as a whole – is really compelling but annoyingly not expanded upon as much as it could have been.

Some of the issues this documentary has could have been overlooked with some broader stats and figures, perhaps even some diagrams to show the number of male and female convictions in the area rathe than just eyewitness accounts, which would have definitely helped this too.

Those after a quick run-down on what happened in the Brittany Smith case will certainly find this interesting and it’s undoubtedly shocking. However, the lack of a balanced argument and an annoyingly short and breezy look at this case holds it back from being a more thought provoking watch.


Feel free to check out more of our movie reviews here!

  • Verdict - 5.5/10
    5.5/10
5.5/10

3 thoughts on “State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith Review – Truth VS Bias”

  1. There is enough evidence on her body to show she was brutally assaulted. Any good psychiatrist or psychologist will have researched evidence to prove that when one is pained,afraid and overwhelmed by the events that had occurred, anyone might make a bad decision to lie initially. I am sure numerous past cases will back that up!
    This girl was assaulted! She defended herself! The police in the county have a cognitive bias when dealing with cases that involve women using violence to defend themselvesOr who have been in domestic violence situations.
    Re investigate this crime
    Investigate the police in the county and their past cases involving women who were assaulted and defended themselves using force
    Collect the data
    Change the operations within the police force when dealing with. These types of cases.
    FREE WOMEN IN JAIL FOR DEFENDING THEMSELVES AGAINST AN ABUSER!

  2. Too many holes in her story and it’s just straight man hating propaganda. Research the case and find out she lied about being raped and no evidence of rape was found. Back In jail for meth use and arson.

  3. Alabama’s football coach just referred to the young men on his team as turds. An Alabama football player just assaulted a woman running on to her own victorious teams field because he is a no class, sore loser.
    Neither men have any punishment or consequences. Clearly a woman’s life and chivalry and decency among men, isn’t an Al priority. So much for upholding the Gentleman and Southern mystique AL. Something is wrong in your state and you need to fix it. You’ve already cowered away from playing GA. Don’t cower from being respectable.

Leave a comment