The State of Alabama vs Brittany Smith has just dropped on Netflix, and viewers are calling it both “powerful” and “sad”.
According to its synopsis, the documentary focuses on the harrowing story of a woman (Smith) trying to use Alabama’s stand-your-ground law as a defence for killing a man who she says brutally raped her. Her defence, however, fails. The documentary tells the story of what happened to Smith during her ordeal and the subsequent legal battle she endured.
Netflix released the film on Thursday (November 10) and viewers have already been voicing their opinion. A number of users have said reacted to the film’s content by calling it “frustrating”, while others have expressed how “sad” it’s made them feel.
One Tweet read: “Just saw this one: Powerful!” Another said it was a “sad and infuriating” watch. That appears to be the prevailing sentiment as audiences start to tune in and watch Smith’s story. The film had already stirred up plenty of emotions after its trailer dropped, with many viewers on Netflix’s YouTube calling the film a “heartbreaking” story.
Many viewers were also dismayed at what appeared to be a double-standard in Smith’s case, voicing that a white male would never have gone to prison for using the stand your ground defence.
— Savannah Starseed (@Rox_Starseed) November 10, 2022
Watching State of Alabama vs Brittany Smith on Netflix and if you're not a white male don't try that stand your ground law or you're going to prison.
— I said what I said and I ain't changing it!Sooooo (@Doses6Small) November 11, 2022
Watching #StateofAlabamavsBrittanySmith Its so frustrating. A woman is raped and beaten in her own home which leads to shooting the attacker. But how does the stand your ground law work? Cases of burglars being shot for entering a property uses this law. How is this different?
— Alicia Clayton (@aliciagraceee) November 11, 2022
Just watching this now!
It’s terribly sad & infuriating
— Oriana White Writer/Actor/Poet 🎭 (@OrianaWrites) November 10, 2022
just finished #StateofAlabamavsBrittanySmith and I’m so angry at the way the justice will always only protect white men
— wati bgette (@indigoangelss) November 11, 2022
Welp as if *waves arms* all this wasn’t enough, you could watch Netflix doc State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith and wanna throw yourself out the nearest window. https://t.co/5lXhbToFSp
— mangle (@mangle) November 11, 2022
Directed by Ryan White, the film follows the distressing story of an Alabama mother, Smith, who was charged with murdering a man she said raped her. The case became the focus of an attention-grabbing New Yorker investigation because Smith invoked a stand your ground defence.
In Alabama, as well as over 30 other U.S. states, state law makes it legal to use lethal force to defend against threats or even perceived threats. In Smith’s case she was cornered in her own home by her assailant. He told Smith he’d kill her if she called the police.
Smith’s stand your ground defence failed when she went to trial charged with killing her assailant, and subsequently had to endure a protracted legal battle which resulted with her spending time in prison.
The State of Alabama vs Brittany Smith is available to stream on Netflix now.