My Cousin Vinny” was written by a Harvard Law graduate who traveled the United States collecting stories from lawyers about the kinds of things they had had experience with at trial. While it is not a perfect representation of the courtroom experience, it is used as an example in evidence and criminal procedure classrooms across the country. A quite prestigious law firm partner once said of the film “watching it is not sufficient background to be approved for a judgeship, but it should be a prerequisite.”
Step 1: Watch the movie “My Cousin Vinny.”
STEP 2: Find at four issues that relate to matters discussed BELOW
Step 3: Explain that relation;
– What are the issues you found? – How do they relate to our discussion? – What perspective is added by the material in the movie?
Issues with explanations
1. Biased judges – had a power complex, definitely spoke to vinny in a condescending tone because he wasn’t from that state, critiques him for wearing certain clothes and sitting down while in court, must comb his hair to be presentable, overruled an Alabama Procedure for no reason at all
a.“I object to this witness being called at this time. We’ve been given no prior notice he’d testify. No discovery of any tests he’s conducted or reports he’s prepared. And as the court is aware, the defense is entitled to advance notice of any witness who will testify, particularly to those who will give scientific evidence, so that we can properly prepare for cross-examination, as well as to give the defense an opportunity to have the witness’s reports reviewed by a defense expert, who might then be in a position to contradict the veracity of his conclusions”, to which then the judge agrees its a great argument, and then overrules it.
2. Prison industries – stan was afraid of being raped in jail, is it problematic to househttps://www.ustream7.com/play.php?movieID=tt0104952
potentially innocent people with people who were already convicted criminals? Hence the theory and phrase “Innocent till proven guilty” 3. 4th amendment violation – not a violation to detain someone without reading what they’re being arrested for but it’s extremely problematic. Should that be the case, should that be reformed? kinda problematic 4. Public Defenders have a bad stigma for being lazy. The other public defender John Gibbons stuttered his way through questioning the witness, only to learn his bad eyesight was for up-close things, such as reading, not from viewing things from a distance 5. The adversarial system is flawed when two lawyers aren’t of equal prestige. If a lawyer can’t make a good argument as the other, does the adversarial even work? Should it exist? 6. Prosecutor Power – How did the prosecutor go so far into the case without knowing of potential people with a similar car who’s committed a previous crime? How could they withhold such vital information like that? Because they can. They have the power. 7. Prosecutor power – even with withholding information, is it all for an election? Is it so they are prosecutor again? Is it for a promotion? Does prosecutor jobs fall on unethical practices for selfish gain? It seems apparent in My Cousin Vinny
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