One day after bringing Scream’s fictional killer to justice, MTV is shifting its focus to crimes of a different sort.
Unlocking the Truth (Wednesday, 10/9c) examines the U.S. justice system from the point of view of Ryan Ferguson, a man who was imprisoned for 10 years after being falsely accused and charged with second-degree murder. After a decade behind bars, Ferguson was exonerated with the help of attorney Kathleen Zellner, the same person who filed an appeal to free Steven Avery of Netflix’s Making a Murderer.
Wednesday’s premiere begins with a brief look at Ferguson’s story — which he admits is “not the easiest thing to watch” — before diving into the case of Michael Politte, a man who was charged with the murder of his mother in 1998 when he was just 14 years old.
“They’re all worth my time,” Ferguson tells TVLine of the cases he and partner Eva Nagao take on. “But I only have so much time. If I see that a case was not thoroughly investigated, that’s where I can best provide help.”
Unfortunately, Ferguson admits, not every investigation ends with a discovery of innocence — but that doesn’t make his efforts any less important.
“We just want to find the truth in these cases, and they definitely lead us down paths we don’t anticipate,” he says. “There are a lot of twists and turns, and it’s not always what you expect. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not.”
Ferguson says his drive for this work comes from “anger and frustration at a legal system that values convictions over human lives. I saw it in my case and I saw it in multiple other cases. There are 1,700 wrongfully imprisoned people who have been exonerated, and there are thousands more. I do the opposite of what they’re doing: I take this negative energy and I turn it into positive action.”
Watch an exclusive preview of Wednesday’s premiere below, then drop a comment: Will you be watching?