Chris Anderson and Fatima Silva are on a mission for truth, even if that means there are no warm and fuzzy feelings to wrap up each case. It's a mission the retired homicide detective and criminal defense attorney had to remind themselves of throughout this season of Reasonable Doubt, as they took on 10 new controversial murder cases to determine if the right person was convicted of the crime and if there's hope for an appeal down the line.
"Reasonable Doubt is only about freedom," Anderson told PopCulture ahead of Monday's all-new episode. "We're either going to free a wrongfully convicted person or we're going to free a family." The law enforcement expert continued that the cases this season caused "a lot of back and forth" with him and Silva as they got down to the truth of the crime that was committed and any realistic legal path that lies ahead for the people who have been convicted.
"There are a lot of times we want to give some feel-good type of news to families who need it," Anderson admitted. While it might feel like a "win" to the family in the moment, being anything less than 100% honest with the people holding out hope for their loved ones would actually do "more damage," he continued, because beyond the trial stage, there needs to be absolute game-changing evidence to have even hope of a successful appeal.
"Are you OK sitting across from [a family] and giving them false hope knowing they've mortgaged their home?" Silva asked. "We're helping people by giving them the truth, whether they expect it or not." That doesn't make it any easier for Anderson and Silva, who see the pain the families of the convicted have experienced. "I had a full-blown rage meltdown this season when it came to our cases," Silva admitted, "because as much as the world around us has changed, the purpose of our show has not."
There were times in which both Silva and Anderson needed to be reminded of their mission while investigating this season, which the pair said was a testament to how wonderfully they work together. "One thing our criminal justice system should have is a system of checks and balances, and Fatima and I are our own checks and balances," Anderson quipped.
Compressing years of investigation and work into just under an hour is an impossible job, which is why The Reasonable Doubt Podcast is so "vitally important" to the duo. Released every Tuesday after Monday's episode, truth-seekers get the "extra insight" and "extra input" into the case that can offer a different perspective on Silva and Anderson's conclusion, as well as a bigger glimpse at the "human side" that is the duo's tight bond.
"The majority of the conversations that Fatima and I have, they don't even capture them on camera," Anderson admitted, joking that the two are nonstop when it comes to debating their cases back and forth. Don't miss a brand new episode of Reasonable Doubt, airing on Investigation Discovery Mondays at 10 p.m. ET. The complete fourth season will join the previous three seasons streaming on discovery+ beginning Sept. 21.