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« An Innocent Man? (Redux) | Main | Not Innocent. »

January 10, 2006


Samuel Alito

First, apologies for the email address and blog site above; I don't have a 'real' blog, so my typekey login is my parody blog.

I too have been watching InJustice with a particular emphasis on how the issues related to wrongful convictions can be framed by a procedural. You are correct in stating that the writer ignore key issues, but I think they ignore them to an end, and a good end at that.

You may have seen the editorial in the Times this weekend by a prosecutor in Oregon railing against "InJustice" because, as he claims, 99.973 or some odd percentage of people in jail are in fact guilty. The fact that the show doesn't show the hardship of actually getting a hearing or retrial (just as Law and Order doesn't show that a murder trial takes place years after the investigation, and ADAs do not uncover a great new piece of evidence midway through voir dire) is done in service of the story of getting people released.

What the show does that I am grateful for is contradict the predominence of forensics currently on the air. At least the investigations are done by investigating (talking to witnesses) rather than by sending something to a lab that will magically point to the killer. I liked that in one episode they obtained a hair sample that had been identified as the suspect's, to learn that in fact hair doesn't have DNA in it, and you therefore can't match hair to an individual.

The show does not give the CrimPro lessons that a Law&Order does; no show can. But I think that the concessions it makes to storytelling are viable ones, necessary to put forward a totally different view of the criminal justice system than the one that dominates the air.

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