Monday, January 02, 2006

ABC's "In Justice" Guilty Of Some Truth

Bronx Public Defender David Feige, whose book about the criminal justice system, "Indefensible," will be published in June, beat me to a great piece about ABC's new show "In Justice." David's piece appears in the New York Times.

The show premiers Friday, January 6, but ran this past Sunday night. If you want to see it, don't wait.

It won't last.

Discussing the innocent is great for Starbucks and college campuses, but the general American public thrives on guilt. To them, the innocent is like walking by a dumpster behind a great restaurant.

David writes about our fascination with "Law & Order," (both the show, and the concept) and that the only other show that came close to portraying the truth about the defense side was David E. Kelley's "The Practice."

He's correct. The number one question I get at a cocktail party, besides how I do what I do, is "do you watch Law & Order?" I say "no," "The Practice (now off the air) is more realistic.

David makes a perfect assessment of television today. He says "Police dramas have moved from a presumption of innocence to a certainty about guilt. And as goes television, so goes America."

He keenly observes about "Law & Order" type shows, that "both on our televisions and in our courthouses, the focus of the criminal justice system became ensuring not the freedom of the innocent but the incarceration of the guilty."

Yup.

So watch, before an angry America writes ABC asking "where are the guilty people?"

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please click the link: http://www.tannebaumweiss.com