“Do We Have A Dangerous Dog Breed Problem,
Or Dangerous Laws Targeting Dogs?”
About Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent
“Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent” (GTPI) is a full feature documentary film examining laws called breed specific legislation (BSL), which ban or restrict the ownership of certain breeds or types of dog – namely, pit bull terriers.
During the mid-1980s, pit bull dogs became the target of legislation sweeping across the United States in the name of public safety after attacks became leading headlines in the national mainstream news media.
Using the state of Ohio as the backdrop, the film takes place in Lakewood – a suburb of Cleveland, in the spring of 2008 after city council proposes a ban on pit bull dogs, and guides the viewer through the entire process of proposal and passing the law, its enforcement, and the subsequent repeal a decade later.
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“Guilty Til Proven Innocent”
“Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent” was originally released on April 28, 2013, making its premiere in front of a sold out audience in Cleveland, Ohio. It went on to be screened twenty-something more times around the country through mid-2014, including official selections to two film festivals (2013 St. Louis International Film Festival; 2014 Kansas City Film Fest), as well as shown in three law school universities as part of their animal law curriculum, and supported by one of the largest national animal welfare organizations in the U.S., who sent copies of the DVD to state and local lawmakers faced with this issue.
GTPI was updated – completely re-edited and enhanced, to include the repeal of Lakewood’s ten year old pit bull ban, and re-released in 2020.
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