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Agnes Furey's Saga Featured in Film


A woman whose very name has become synonymous with the term “Restorative Justice” calls Tallahassee home. And now her story and cause have gone international with the release of a new movie.

Agnes Furey said it began a little while ago with a famous French movie- maker. “(He was) Yann Arthos-Bertrand,” she explained. “He did a documentary called ‘Home’ about the planet. And then he did a documentary called ‘Human’ on what it is to be human.”

That film featuring 2,000 human stories from all over the world, including Furey’s story.

“Two women from France connected with someone in Canada and enlisted her to try and recruit a human interest story that they could do to be part of the ‘Human’ project and they found me,” Furey smiled.

The producers also found Pat Tuthill of Tallahassee. Both she and Furey have experienced the murder of an adult child. Both women then went on to forgive the killers – in Furey’s case a man named Leonard Scovens – and forge positive relationships with them as they served their prison sentences for the crime.

“They made arrangements to come over here and they interviewed me and they interviewed Pat Tuthill and a couple of other people,” Furey recalled. “And then they got permission and went in the prison and interviewed Leonard. And they became converts to restorative justice.”

The essence of Restorative Justice is that forgiveness and reconciliation between victim and perpetrator is critical to the healing of the victim. In the movie “Human”, Scoven’s interview made it to the final cut, but Tuthill and Furey wound up on the cutting room floor. But their interviews did appear in the book version of “Human”, which got its 2015 premiere at the United Nations in New York City. Shortly thereafter, Furey says the two French women who’d worked on that movie, Chloé Henry Biabaud and Isabelle Vayron de la Moureyre, told Furey they wanted to produce a film focused on restorative justice and came to Tallahassee to film it.

“They had me walking around Lake Ella,” she laughed, “and then they went in the prison and interviewed Leonard again. They observed two support groups of inmates in the prisons; circles with the inmates peer-facilitating each other.”

She said that's another important restorative justice component in which the offenders come to terms with what they’ve done and accept responsibility for their actions. Furey said she’s delighted with the resulting movie entitled “Another Justice”.

“And it is a beautiful production! And we’re going to show it at Mickee Faust on February 11th and we’re going to try to have some kind of a panel put together to have a discussion after the video.”

Besides Furey, that panel will include Tena Pate, former chair of the Florida Commission on Offender Review, and Cindy Bigbie who does non-violent communications training. The screening of “Another Justice” starts at six-thirty Saturday evening at the Mickee Faust Playhouse in Tallahassee’s Railroad Square. Oh, and the event is also a celebration of Agnes Furey’s 80th birthday.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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