Will Packer to develop Joan Little film about woman who killed her rapist

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Will Packer is getting ready to develop a miniseries adaptation about the landmark case of Joan Little, called The Innocence of Joan Little, reports Shadow and Act.

Little’s case in 1974 drew national attention to a jail in Beaufort County in Washington, North Carolina, after Little was found innocent for killing a jailer who attempted to rape her. It was a landmark case, not only the first in United States history to recognize a woman’s right to kill a potential rapist in self-defense but also a case that acknowledged the rights of prisoners in the United States. She was found not guilty by a jury of six whites and six African-Americans.

Little was the first woman in US history to be acquitted under the defense that she killed  62-year-old Clarence Alligood, her would-be rapist, in self-defense. Her case set off a wave of support from civil rights, feminist, and anti-death penalty movements at the time as well.

Will Packer’s Will Packer Productions as well as Paulist Productions are on board to develop and produce the miniseries, though no network is yet attached, and there has been no word on casting. The series will be based on the book by author James Reston Jr., “The Innocence of Joan Little: A Southern Mystery.”


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