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August 30, 2006


Chris Buccafusco

I watched Justice last night because I heard somewhere that it was supposed to be a legal version of my favorite television drama, House. It probably goes without saying, but the show didn't live up to its billing. The cast was awful, the plot was contrived, and it made a mockery of legal proceedings (which would be apparent even if your only knowledge of proper trial procedure came from other television programs).

I only mention the show here because it struck me as the kind of thing that could be interesting to members and readers of this blog. The show's principle theme is the relationship between justice and the media, and it explores this theme through a number of angles. First, a major segment of the episode was devoted to Court TV-like analysis of the trial and its participants. Perhaps more interestingly, however, was the extensive use of visual media by both the prosecution and defense at trial. These included graphic photographs of the victim's body, in-court demonstrations, and digitally created videos of the opposing theories. Of course, it was an appallingly inaccurate portrayal of actually admissible evidence, but it certainly taps in to the increasingly visual nature of courtroom proceedings and perhaps the jury's desire to have information presented to them visually (for better or worse).

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I won't belabor the point here, but I do wonder what it is the television producers think has not yet been covered by yet another law show that perverts the perception of the practice of law? I'll be eager to hear what people have to say about this new show.

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