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Five Magnificent Movies About Criminal Trials - Criminal Justice News

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Criminal Justice News


Posted on: Nov 8, 2020

As the pandemic rages on, we face the harsh reality of winter. Instead of hot cocoa and eggnog with our pals at the ski lodge, we are forced back into our homes with our families/cats. How to cope? How to avoid the frozen fate of Jack Torrance in The Shining? The Criminal Justice Section is here for you with recommendations to get you through the punishing winter.

Though many criminal practitioners have recently seen the inside of the courtroom, significantly fewer have felt the tantalizing thrill of a trial! We look in the mirror, growing more suspicious. Do I still have it? Can I still wow a jury with a well-reasoned argument? Or have my skills atrophied to the point of seeking a new career? While it’s probably now that bad, check out these movies to be reminded of the heady days of trials by jury!

Five Magnificent Movies About Criminal Trials

  1. The Trial of the Chicago 7: A brand new movie written by Aaron Sorkin, join an all-star cast in an examination of one of the most tumultuous times in recent U.S. History. Though you may not agree with his politics, you’ll likely agree that this film is extremely culturally relevant.
  2. 12 Angry Men: While technically not a “courtroom drama” and more of a “jury room drama,” it is a classic for a reason. Seek out the original, starring Henry Fonda as a lone juror attempting to convince his peers of a defendant’s innocence.
  3. My Cousin Vinny: Plausibly the most realistic film ever made with regards to criminal procedure, it’s certainly the funniest. Joe Pesci and Marissa Tomei! Who could ask for more?
  4. A Time to Kill: Based on John Grisham’s first novel, another all-star cast tells the story of an African-American man tried for the murder of the two men who brutally assaulted his daughter.
  5. Anatomy of a Murder: Starring Jimmy Stewart as small-town lawyer Paul Biegler who takes on the case of an Army Vet who is accused of murdering a saloon keeper.

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Criminal Justice Section, please email Kara Sikorski at ksikorski@indybar.org.

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