Movie Lawyers Put To The Test- Is This Fact Or Fiction?

Movie Lawyers Put To The Test- Is This Fact Or Fiction?

Anyone who goes to the movie theaters knows that there are many thrillers be shown – some that keep you on the edge of your chair.

Did you know that some of these haven’t given us the legitimate legal truth? Many of these movies contain lies. Take a look:

The double jeopardy clause can give someone a license to kill. Have you seen the 1999 thriller Double Jeopardy? The movie is about a woman whose husband disappears in the night and she’s framed for his murder.

After she’s tried, prosecuted, sentenced and served several years in prison, she learns that her husband is very much alive. She learns that since she has already been tried for killing him, she can actually shoot him and not be charged or convicted for the crime.

Legally, this isn’t the case. The Double Jeopardy clause protects individuals from being retried for the same crime after a conviction and being punished twice for the same crime. The protection doesn’t attach to a charge that is based on facts different from the first crime. The Double Jeopardy clause didn’t give the woman a right to hunt down and kill her husband.

What about all the movies where the lawyers spend much time in courtrooms? According to statistics, more than 90 percent of criminal cases do not end in trial and less than 2 percent of federal civil cases are disposed of by trial. Many lawyers in reality never step into a court room.

Have you seen movies where pleading insanity sets the killer free? What about the movie, A Time to Kill? Did you know that only 1 percent of criminal cases use this defense? And, when used, the defense succeeds less than 25 percent of the time.

When the court finds a person is not guilty by reason of insanity, that person is not set free. In most cases he or she is committed to a mental health facility where they spend as much time as if they were sentenced to jail or prison.

Have you seen Legally Blonde? What a cute movie. Can you just imagine a first-year law student serving as the lead defense attorney in a murder trial? This movie took place in the State of Massachusetts where they do not allow first-year law students to represent wealthy clients in major criminal cases.

In reality, a first-year law student would be subject to civil or criminal penalties for unauthorized practice of law.

What about the movie, In the Bedroom, where a district attorney refuses to pursue murder charges against a killer because there was no direct witnesses to the crime? In real life, the law does not require a direct witness to a killing in order for someone to be charged or convicted with murder. In reality, very few homicides take place in the direct line of sight of witnesses.

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