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Time Simply Passes

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Time Simply Passes
TSP POSTER2016.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTy Flowers
Produced byTy Flowers, Charles Flowers
Music byTy Flowers, Phil Nicolazzo
CinematographyTy Flowers, Connor Kammerer
Edited byTy Flowers
Distributed byIndie Rights (USA)
Release date
U.S. Film Festival

Sept. 27, 2015.[1] United States and UK

January 9, 2018
Running time
54 minutes
CountryUnited States

Time Simply Passes is a 2015 documentary film chronicling the life and wrongful conviction of James Joseph Richardson. It details the circumstances leading to his 1967 arrest for the poisoning deaths of his seven children in Arcadia, Florida, his twenty-one years spent in prison, his miraculous release in 1989 upon the discovery of hidden evidence, and the twenty-five years he spent following his release attempting to obtain compensation from the State of Florida. It features exclusive interviews with Barry Scheck, Don Horn, Peter Gallagher, Geraldine Thompson, Tim Edman, Janet Reno, and James Joseph Richardson. The film is directed and produced by Ty Flowers, who worked with his father, Charles Flowers, a journalist who helped free James through his work on the case in the 1980s[2]. It was acquired by Indie Rights and released on digital platforms in January 2018 [3]


On Wednesday, October 25, 1967, the seven Richardson children, ranging in age from two to eight, consumed food poisoned with parathion in [Arcadia, FL]. The night before, Annie Mae Richardson, James' wife, had prepared a lunch of beans, rice, and grits for the children. The meal was placed in a locked refrigerator overnight. In the morning the Richardsons left to work at the orange groves 16 miles away. A neighbor, Betsy Reece, was delegated to take care of the children while their parents were at work.[4] James was tried and convicted of the murder on May 27th, 1968 and sentenced to death. [4] [5]

In 1988 Reese, suffering from Alzheimer's disease and in a nursing home in Arcadia, had reportedly confessed to the murders more than 100 times, but her confessions were not taken seriously because of her condition.[5][6] Also, the last surviving witness to Richardson’s alleged jail-cell confession recanted his testimony to state legislators, saying that he had been offered a lighter sentence in return for the testimony.[5] James was released from prison on October 25, 1989 after a new hearing was held. [5] James fought the State of Florida in court for compensation until a new bill was passed to award him $1.2 million in 2014. [7]



Following a successful festival run with dozens of screenings and awards around the world[17], the film was acquired by Indie Rights and distributed digitally in 2018 via Amazon and other platforms [3]. The film received uniformly positive reviews and has been a critical success following its debut. [18]

In February 2018 the film was shown several times in Arcadia, FL as part of a 50th anniversary remembrance ceremony honoring the victims of the poisoning that led to the imprisonment of James Richardson, and was received warmly by the town.[19]

"Sometimes a documentary can tell such compelling story that from the first minute you can’t help but jump onboard and root for the underdog... It's a lesson we shouldn’t forget, and one whose timing couldn’t be better. 9/10" -Paul Percellin, Filmthreat[20]

"The few glimmers of hope here come from those who have aided him over the years, but in the end we're left with the image of an 80-year-old man in failing health whose life was ruined for no good reason." -Dmitry Samarov, Chicago Reader [13]

"And through its own history, the American legal system is revealed in all its weakness. An exciting story that has not yet reached its finale, even though we probably know how it will end. The way has not been found institutionally, but even the effort has not begun." - Leda Galanou, flix [11]

See also[edit]


  1. McNally, Jim. "COLUMN: Full Bloom film puts spotlight on injustice". statesville.com.
  2. Swenson, Kyle (20 October 2015). "Orange Picker Wrongfully Convicted of Murder Is Subject of FLIFF Documentary". browardpalmbeach.com.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Amazon.com: Time Simply Passes: James Joseph Richardson, Mark Lane, Janet Reno, Barry Scheck: Amazon Digital Services LLC". www.amazon.com.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Johnson, Constance (October 9, 1988). "Dad Still Denies Poisoning 7 Kids". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Delayed Justice". The Miami Herald. December 13, 1988.
  6. Johnson, Constance (May 6, 1989). "State Won't Retry Richardson Murder Case". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  7. Stapleton, Christine (June 23, 2014) [June 20, 2014]. "Wrongfully imprisoned 21 years in 7 kids' murders, man could get $1.2M". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  8. Jim McNally (Sep 30, 2015), Full Bloom Film Festival dazzles in first year, retrieved 17 July 2018
  9. Swenson, Kyle (20 October 2015). "Orange Picker Wrongfully Convicted of Murder Is Subject of FLIFF Documentary". browardpalmbeach.com.
  10. "Time Simply Passes". tbuff.org.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "18ο Φεστιβάλ Ντοκιμαντέρ Θεσσαλονίκης: "Time Simply Passes", ή πώς καταδικάστηκε για 7 φόνους ένας αθώος άνθρωπος" [18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival: "Time Simply Passes", or how an innocent man was sentenced for 7 murders]. flix.gr (in Ελληνικά).
  12. "2016 Tallgrass Film Festival Announces Filmmaker Awards for the Just Completed 14th Edition - Selig Film News". seligfilmnews.com. 5 November 2016.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Samarov, Dmitry. "Time Simply Passes". Chicago Reader.
  14. "JIFF - Jaipur International Film Festival - JIFF Awards". www.jiffindia.org.
  15. "VERZIO Film Festival". www.verzio.org.
  16. "DocuWest International Film Festival (2016)". IMDb.
  17. "Tanman Films - SCREENINGS". Tanman Films.
  18. https://www.cltampa.com/arts-entertainment/film-tv/article/21022310/watch-this-free-film-about-a-black-arcadia-man-wrongfully-imprisoned-for-21-years-for-killing-his-seven-children
  19. "Film in Arcadia to examine Richardson poisoning case". yoursun.com.
  20. "Time Simply Passes". filmthreat.com. 22 June 2018.

External links[edit]


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