So brother Bill took his lost brother into his Sacramento home. But all was not well.
When Bill found a lighter with the initials of a recent, highly publicized murder victim among Manny's stuff, he knew his brother had done something awful. He reported what he had found to the cops. He explained that his brother was a mentally-damaged veteran. He even led the cops to pick up Manny.
The police didn't shoot Manny. Bill seems to believe that the cops really expected Manny would end up in a mental institution. But a local prosecutor wanted a notch in her belt. The jury was all white. Manny's lawyer was drunk during the penalty phase, and Manny got a death sentence.
This being modern California, appeals and delays lasted nearly twenty years, but Manny was executed in 1999. While on death row, he was awarded a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. He was buried with full military honors.
The little film is a tour de force of animated story telling and crisp narrative. only 30 minutes long, it is a wrenching window on a terrible practice.
It is easy to believe that, however dreadful his crimes, Manny would never have faced execution if he'd been white, if anyone cared that our soldiers are driven mad, or if he'd had competent lawyering. But he didn't enjoy those advantages. His execution is testimony to the racist and arbitrary character of California's enormously expensive and dysfunctional death system. We can stop this by passing Prop. 62 in November.