On the surface, this story is about punishment meted out for an alleged hate-crime—but The Guy with the Knife is really an examination of the harsh (and often secretive) Texas justice system.
This complicated tale begins with 17-year old Jon Buice being sentenced to 45 years in prison for a murder in Houston’s gay district. During his incarceration, he takes every opportunity to express remorse and prepare for societal re-entry. Even the community activist who once lobbied against him has become his biggest supporter and friend. Buice’s release is rescinded at the last minute and to this day his lawyer has still never seen his client’s parole file. Is this an appropriate sentence for a crime or a total travesty of justice?