'Trial 4' Trailer: Netflix Tackles Police Corruption In Docuseries About A Wrongfully Convicted Man

Netflix's latest true crime docuseries tackles an upsettingly relevant topic and a distressingly urgent deadline. Trial 4 is an upcoming eight-part documentary series that tells the story of Sean K. Ellis, who has spent 22 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted at age 19 of the 1993 murder of Boston police detective John Mulligan. Three trials later — two with hung juries and one that got him freed from jail on bail in 2015 — Ellis is facing a fourth trial that will decide whether he will be put back behind bars. Watch the Trial 4 trailer below.

Trial 4 Trailer

Ever since being convicted of the murder of a Boston police detective when he was 19, Ellis has maintained his innocence. As Ellis heads into his fourth trial, ordered by a judge saying evidence about how the case had been handled had been withheld from the defense, the Netflix series sets to examine his case from a fresh perspective, and tackle the rampant culture of corruption in the Boston police. Ellis had previously been sentenced to life and was released in 2015 when new evidence came to light. But conflicting reports — from the prosecution, from a Boston Globe writer who says "the cops were just looking for someone to pin this murder on," and from Boston cops who argue that Ellis killed Mulligan — have brought about a fourth trial that could end in Ellis going back to prison for life.

Trial 4 seems like the kind of true crime docuseries that Netflix has excelled with, in addition to the acclaimed kind of stories of racial injustice that the streamer has been giving a platform to. Previous Netflix hits like the true crime docuseries Making a Murderer  and the drama miniseries When They See Us suggests that Trial 4 will make a major impact too — and rightly so, as the subject and the injustice surrounding it makes it even more relevant now more than ever.

Here is the synopsis for Trial 4:

In 1993, Sean Ellis was a troubled teen in the wrong place at the wrong time. He went through three trials within a year before a jury could convict him of the murder of Officer Mulligan. Sean served 22 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. Years later, exculpatory evidence around the handling of his case allows Sean to have a 4th trial. Charged as a teen in the 1993 killing of a Boston cop, Sean K. Ellis fights to prove his innocence while exposing police corruption and systemic racism.

Trial 4 premieres on Netflix on November 11, 2020.