At the time of his arrest, Chol Soo Lee had 41 rounds of live ammo and a 357 Magnum in his room and he was on probation for felony theft. He was a Korean punk living in Chinatown, but the gangs never bothered him. Lee confessed to firing a gun in his hotel room that accidentally killed the gang leader next door. All of that may be true, but was it enough to convict him of murder? In spite of an inaccurate ballistics report, the prosecution copped an “all Asians look alike” defense. Lee was found guilty and sentenced to prison. While in stir, he copped a self-defense plea to a second murder. The reason filmmakers Julie Ha and Eugene Yi never interviewed Lee and that his narration is spoken by someone else will surprise you. At the one hour point in the picture, and after a decade of retrials, the jury had finally decided on Lee’s fate. The 30 minutes that followed are what separates this from an episode of Dateline NBC. One bright moment: a group of yahoos mistook a “Free Chol Soo Lee” sign to be a promotional offer for Chinese Food. (2022) — Scott Marks
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