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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Jury justice is becoming obsolete

Author: Dr Jacques COULARDEAU from Olliergues, France
23 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Another film based on a true crime. Simple indeed. Two people corresponding to the basic description and the basic facts accuse themselves of a crime, a murder, the murder of a cop. Both are mentally deranged. One is definitely psychotic, or even maybe schizophrenic, if this word is provided with a wide definition. He is a proved criminal and in many cases in several states. The other is a megalomaniac liar who probably was the victim of his father's violence, and he just does not know when he is telling the truth. He is just lying all the time. The two kids retract their confessions and yet they maintain them at the same time. No eye witness of the crimes (the armed robberies of two stores before the killing of the cop), and there were two such eye witnesses, recognizes any of the two kids as their thieves. The weapon was never found and some presumptive elements point to the second kid. But that is not hard fact. There is a doubt because of that and that doubt should benefit to the accused. Not in a jury system. There is no guarantee that this simple principle be implemented in any jury system, no matter how loose it may be. A jury always contains, purports and implies a reactive element that is blind because it is emotional, it is of the nature of a belief, of faith, not of conviction and rational logic. Has this justice reached its end, its ultimate end? I believe so and we have to move to a new system that will edict strict rules and definitions of what we can call a fact, factual evidence, circumstantial elements, and of course the principle of doubt. What's more those two kids should have been submitted to a serious psychological and psychiatric evaluation and they were not. It is not enough to commit a crime to be sentenced to anything. The responsibility of the subject has to be evaluated, and then the level of danger his more or less irresponsible or responsible attitude represent for himself or others has to be taken into account. This principle of "responsibility" is not at all considered in the American judicial system. In this particular case there was no real evidence of the guilt of the accused. In fact no one knew for sure who killed the cop and it might have been a third man. But the film is rather well done even if maybe slightly too static.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines

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1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Ummm.....Not Bad!

Author: hitmannet ( from Glasgow, Scotland
19 February 2000

A decent movie although I slept through most of it. A cop gets killed while investigating disturbance somewhere and two guyies confess for the crime. Doesn't happen too often so it leaves the detectives in a dilemma. Well worth watching.

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