The year was 1927. Joseph Weaver had left sharecropping in Georgia to work six days a week at a steel plant in Ohio. Evenings found him either in classes designed for colored adults from the South, or in choir rehearsal at church. In his spare time, he took orders for men’s suits as an itinerant salesman. Once he arrived in the North with his wife in 1922, Weaver hastened to set in place a solid foundation of home, work, school, and church. That foundation began to crumble early in 1927, completely collapsing on the Ides of March and plummeting the towering black man into a nightmarish abyss. Cleveland policemen arrested him for the murder of a night watchman at his former place of employment. Throughout third degree interrogation, Weaver was adamant in to his claim of innocence. Subjected to a perjury-ridden trial, he displayed a confidence in his court-appointed advocates that was surpassed only by his faith in God.
Conviction in Cuyahoga County revisits the state of race in America during the late 1920s. Against that societal backdrop, this true story flings the sordid mix of greed and lies that condemned a man to death in the electric chair for a crime he did not commit.
Dramatic biography and social documentary, Conviction in Cuyahoga County: A True Story in Black and White is an example of extraordinary character under fire. Joseph Weaver: a man of conviction at the mercy of an inequitable legal systemsone steeped in the racial bigotry that tainted the Land of the Free.