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The film Murder in a Sunday Morning is an Oscar winning documentary that would be invaluable to a person interested in a real look of the US criminal justices away from the trapping of the Hollywood. This award winning documentary is an outstanding study of a murder trial from beginning to the tail end.
In this film a black teenager named Brent Butler is apprehended for shooting dead a white woman and a trial is organized quickly. From the word go, Butler is guilt in the court of public opinion, worse still he is apparently tortured by the investigators until he accepts to sign a confession. Despite the ineffectiveness and laziness that is normally associated with public defenders, Butler finds his only hope resting in public defender Patrick McGuiness. Butler is only happy that Patrick McGuiness is not just any public defender as can be demonstrated by his thoroughness and effectiveness which are two virtues that do not go hand in hand with public defenders (Sachleben, & Yenerall, 2004).
Patrick tirelessly investigates the prosecution and police claims, it is only a matter of time before it become clear that Butler is completely innocent, his only 'guilt', like they say, being the color of his skin (Schleben, & Yenerall, 2004). It transpires that Mary Ann Stephen, the 65 years murdered woman tourist, was shot and killed in Jacksonville, Florida, by a black assailant who disappeared in thin air. However, anxious not to spoil the good tourist name of this town, the police rushed to pick the closest black 'suspect' who happened to be around, which is how Brendon Butler, who by then was headed for a job interview, found himself in the thick of things that he knew nothing about. In fact the husband of the dead woman who happened to have seen the fleeing assailant was almost coerced by the police who executed the arrest into incriminating Brendon falsely, which is how Brendon came to be identified as the person who shot Ann by her husband (Sachleben, & Yenerall, 2004). Later, following the strong-arm tactics of the investing officer, and the absence of a defending counsel, Brendon 'confessed' into having committed murder that he actually did not knew about.
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However, the chain smoking public defend McGuiness was determined to make a difference in a job strongly regarded as a pool of ineffectiveness and sleaze, that of the public defender. McGuiness sensing that the prosecution case literary stank in high heaven,, put up a spirited defense that ultimately exposed the conspiracy that was involved and that has survived decades as a textbook case of excellent jurisprudence. The trial will most definitely serve as a warning example of the prejudice and pitfalls and perils of "swift justice" (Sachleben, & Yenerall, 2004).
Assembled by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, a French documentary filmmaker who warrant credit for following this story so meticulously, this 111-minute documentary was initially released under the name Un Coupable Idea (Sachleben, & Yenerall, 2004). Lestrade lack of judiciousness is however a blot in an otherwise splendid work. The video itself might be cost necessity, however interior and exterior of Jacksonville that he has used leaves a lot to be desired (Sachleben, & Yenerall, 2004).
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Through this film Lestrade attempts to ridicule the system because as can be see he intentionally illustrate how despite all the sleaze and inefficiency the prosecution has exhibited as exposed by McGuiness, they are still unwilling to accept culpability. And as if that is not enough, the police and the lawyers who are complicit in the conspiracy are still holding on to their job even after such a shoddy job.
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