True Crime Documentary ‘Lovely Jackson’ Premiering At Justice Film Festival

February 28, 2023

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: [email protected]

A few months ago, I sat down to talk with ex-death row inmate Rickey Jackson about his 39-year stint in prison for a crime he did not commit and the documentary Lovely Jackson, set to premiere this March at the Justice Film Festival, which chronicles his life and his fight for justice.


Matt Waldek directed this elegant, emotionally charged documentary. He joined Rickey and me for the interview to discuss directing Lovely Jackson, his relationship with Rickey, and how Rickey was freed. And it’s an amazing story.


Rickey was convicted of murder while just a teen and sentenced to death before his sentence was commuted to life in prison three years later. He spent the next 39 years fighting for his freedom. You see, Rickey was innocent, and the only thing that tied him to the crime was a lie told by a 12-year-old boy, who eventually recanted his statement. Rickey was convicted without evidence and even had a witness say to the police he wasn’t the man. But still, Rickey spent the majority of his life in prison until the Ohio innocents Project came to his aid. Finally, he was set free. Lovely Jackson is his story.


Lovely Jackson will debut at the Justice Film Festival on March 4, 2023 (get your ticket here) before screening at the Omaha Film Festival only days later. If you only watch one true crime documentary this year, make it Lovely Jackson. As I state in my review, it’s a beautifully moving documentary about hope, strength, and forgiveness.


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