by Quincy Thomas
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Discovery+ and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a straight-to-series order for the new documentary series “Justice, USA” from Academy®, GRAMMY® and Emmy® Award winning artist and activist Common, Humanitas Prize finalist Marshall Goldberg (“Life Goes On”), and Emmy® award-winning executive producer Mike Tollin (“The Last Dance”), with Think Common Entertainment’s Tamara Brown also executive producing. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will oversee production for discovery+. “Justice, USA” is produced by MSM. Executive producers are Common, Tamara Brown, Marshall Goldberg, and Mike Tollin. Randy Ferrell serves as showrunner on the series. Slated to premiere in 2022 on discovery+, “Justice, USA” is a comprehensive insider 360-degree view of the criminal justice system.

“We knew from the start that ‘Justice, USA’ is a series that must be made and brought to viewers,” said OWN president Tina Perry. “What Mike, Common, Tamara, and Marshall are creating is a compelling and shockingly honest documentary that lays bare the often-ugly and unfortunate truth about the treatment of those most vulnerable by a complex and overburdened system that fails more than it succeeds.”

“Everyone talks about criminal justice reform, but so few of us really know what goes on in the justice system,” said executive producer Mike Tollin. “We never see the behind-the-scenes realities of a system where the average public defender handles 500 felonies a year, where district attorneys determine the fate of defendants far more than do judges or juries, and where excessive bail often destroys lives and families.”

“I’m proud of this series because it takes an honest look at the criminal justice system and highlights its need for reform. One of the greatest problems with the justice system is its dehumanization of people. But we have the ability to change that. My hope is this documentary brings visibility and change to the criminal justice system in the most humane way,” said executive producer Common.

“To do this series right, we needed unprecedented access to public defenders, district attorneys, jails, and the courts,” said executive producer Marshall Goldberg. “We found that in Nashville. Without any restrictions, the first season of ‘Justice, USA’ will look at a system that historically has brutalized defendants, especially indigent defendants.”

Mike Tollin was the Executive Producer of “The Last Dance,” the critically acclaimed and multi award-winning series on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. He has produced and directed more than a dozen feature films, several award-winning documentaries, and hundreds of hours of television. His feature films include “Coach Carter,” “Radio,” “Dreamer,” “Hardball,” “Varsity Blues,” and “Summer Catch.” He directed and produced “Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream,” which won a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award. Tollin directed and produced several other award-winning documentaries, including “Hardwood Dreams,” “Let Me Be Brave,” and “Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?,” one of the original films for the “30 For 30” series. In television, Tollin has won three Emmy Awards and served as Executive Producer on series including “Smallville,” “One Tree Hill,” and “Arli$$.”

Common is an artist, actor, author and activist. With a storied career spanning three decades, his work has been recognized with numerous GRAMMY® Awards, as well as an Emmy® and an Academy® Award for the song “Glory” which he co-wrote and performed with John Legend. In October 2020, he released his latest album A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Pt. 1 through Loma Vista Recordings.

Marshall Goldberg is an adjunct professor at Michigan Law School. After clerking for Judge Robert F. Peckham of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, he became Counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, and then a litigator and legislative liaison for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. Goldberg spent 25 years writing for such shows as “L.A. Law,” “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” “Paper Chase,” “The Jeffersons” and “Life Goes On,” among others. He has been a Humanitas Prize and Writers Guild Award finalist, and taught screenwriting at USC Film School.

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