Humans feed on entertainment drama. We love it and sometimes we cannot seem to get enough of it. Some of us watch television and film and get a taste of our inner most dreams, our goals, of our ambitions, or to escape reality and unwind. Television shows and movies about crime really get us going. We love it because it is seemingly real life. It does not use fictional superheroes that protect the public and crime victims; these dramas create storylines based on actual careers, real life superheroes if you will.
We watch with amazement as a crime is committed, solved, the perpetrator is prosecuted and sentenced all within the hour program block of Law and Order. We watch these programs and say to ourselves, that is an amazing career or we say well it looks so easy on T.V. We watch the movies, like Runaway Jury and say could that ever happen? We watch movies like Jury Duty and laugh so hard it hurts. It's when we stop and ask ourselves, How real does it get? How close to reality are the directors coming to? Could this really ever happen?
[...] Is it because this fiction is so close to reality? The reality is that there a lot more time that is invested in actual trials, more time then what portrayed on television and film. These movies and prime time television shows are purely for entertainment purposes only. There has not been a documented case when someone infiltrated the jury in order to provide the defense or the prosecution with the outcome they wish for. A verdict cannot be bought. The jury selection process assures that the jury is free from any bias what so ever. [...]
[...] Maslin, Janet. (1995) Jury Duty (1995)April Film Review; Pauly Shore in 'Jury Duty'. Retrieved on March from the New York Times website, http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=990CE3DC103AF930A25757C0A Mitchell, Elvis. (2003) Runaway Jury (2003)April Film Review; Courtroom Confrontation With Lots of Star Power. Retrieved on March from the New York Times website, http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9A06E2D6173EF934A25753C1A965 9C8B63. Murphy, Rebecca. (2003) John Cusack and Rachel Weisz Discuss "Runaway Jury”. Retrieved on March http://movies.about.com/cs/therunawayjury/a/runawayintjc.htm. [...]
[...] The location for the movie takes place in New Orleans. “Like the novel, the movie deals with jury tampering. However unlike the book, which was all about the tobacco industry, the screen version is an indictment of gun makers.” (Murray, 2003) Mr. Hackman plays a “grubby-souled, hand-tailored heart of modern corruption.” (Mitchell, 2003) His role is a jury consultant who believes that “[t]rials are too important to be left up to juries.” (Hackman, 2003) In this jury tampering tale, “John Cusack plays Nick Easter, a charming manipulator who works his magic on his fellow jurors in an attempt to secure the verdict of his choosing.” (Mitchell, 2003) The only thing swaying his verdict is money. [...]
[...] Trials can take months or even years to come to order. In our television shows, the viewer is able to see a crime be committed, investigated, and the criminal brought to justice in just one hour worth of time. They may touch the surface, but the television shows and movies in no way shed true light onto an actual trial. The movies and television shows maybe edgy, heartbreaking, provocative, funny, suspenseful, or even serious; but that is exactly their purpose, to entertain. [...]
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