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Reckless Indifference (2000)

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Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

Reckless Indifference examines the tragic chain of events that led to the murder of a Los Angeles teenager who was also the son of an LAPD officer. At the end of an heated and emotional ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Robert Derham ...
Himself - Appeals Attorney
Alan M. Dershowitz ...
Himself - Harvard University
Dick Detrich ...
Himself - Westlake United Methodist Church
Jim Farris Sr. ...
Himself - Father of Deceased
Judie Farris ...
Herself - Mother of Deceased
...
Micah
William Genego ...
Himself - Brandon's Appeal Attorney
Tom Hayden ...
Himself - State Senator
Brandon Hein ...
Himself - Himself - Convicted for Murder
Gene Hein ...
Himself - Brandon's Dad
Janice Hein ...
Herself - Brandon's Stepmom
Jason Holland ...
Himself - Convicted for Murder (archive footage)
Micah Holland ...
Himself - Convicted of Murder (archive footage)
Sharry Holland ...
Herself - Defendant's Mom
Fran Kenton ...
Herself - High School Teacher
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Storyline

Reckless Indifference examines the tragic chain of events that led to the murder of a Los Angeles teenager who was also the son of an LAPD officer. At the end of an heated and emotional trial, four teens are sent to prison for the rest of their lives despite the fact that only one of them wielded a weapon. Written by Shatterdaymorn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

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20 October 2000 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Balanced documentary
8 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This documentary sheds the light on the trial of two adults and two juveniles who were tried and convicted for the murder of the sixteen year old son of a retired Los Angeles Police Department detective in Agoura Hills, California. The two adults were barely adult, being only a few months on the other side of eighteen years of age. The victim was the bodyguard of the neighborhood drug dealer, who was stabbed during a melee in a darkened homemade "fort" in the backyard where the drug dealer (who declined to be interviewed for the film) over drugs. The documentary reveals the aggressive tactics pursued by the two district attorneys who prosecuted the case, showing ultimately how they, bowing to public pressure over the incompetence of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office following the OJ Simpson verdict, the mishandling of the initial molestation charges in 1994 against Michael Jackson, and the mistrial of the first murder trial of Erik Menendez, were so overzealous as to defy court rulings about evidence, engage in secret and clandestine meetings with the judge behind the defense attorneys' backs, and to possibly have suborned the perjurious testimony of the drug dealer as the sole evidence to establish a criminal intent to commit robbery that led to the four defendants' conviction for first degree murder under California's "felony murder" rule. This conviction led to life sentences for three of the defendants, and a twenty-five year to life sentence a fifteen year old defendant in the case. The victims' parents are given ample screen time, as are the prosecutors, to explain their actions and to respond to the allegations (except for the allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, which are set forth in a June 2004 "Epilogue" as the basis for the appeal of one of the defendants). The victims' parents' grief is apparent, but ultimately, so is the blindness of their denial and of their meritless self-righteousness, as in an example where the former LAPD detective denies having been present during witness inteviews only to be contradicted by one of the prosecutors himself! This is a very good portrayal of how the justice system can be perverted to suit the needs of a prosecutor's office to finally get a win, and to suit the dictates of an influential parent. I encourage those who have not seen it to view it with an open mind. Clearly, these young defendants deserved some form of punishment, but the facts and circumstances of the crime and the evidence against them, as shown in this documentary, show that the justice meted out in this case was grossly disproportionate.


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