Screen Justice Film and Discussion Series
Sunday, June 15, 2008
The Impact of Film and Video on Criminal Justice
The Screen Justice Film Series presented a panel discussion with excerpts from relevant films and asked the following questions: Does courtroom television deny a defendant's right to a fair trial? Can a film change the course of justice? Do media depictions of investigations effect criminal jury trials? Does the use of film and video in depositions and hearings affect those present?
Panelists included Dr. Monica Robbers, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Marymount University; Debbie Kriegshauser, Chair of the Certified legal Video Specialists CLVS Council U.S.; and Chip Muller, Attorney, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, LLP. The panel was moderated by Prof. Joe Tulman, Clinical Director, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law.
The 1996 death of Jimmy Farris in a ritzy Los Angeles suburb brought an energetic response from the local District Attorney. The resulting trial ended with sentences of life imprisonment without parole for all four surviving participants even though only one of the four actually committed the murder. The film questions the harsh sentences and asks whether the D.A. went full-throttle because of a series of failures (notably the O.J. Simpson debacle). The film received The International Press Academy's Golden Satellite Award for Outstanding Feature Documentary. (2000, 94 mins).
The film was preceded by a Master Class with Academy Award nominated director William Gazecki and was followed by questions and answers.
Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story
Redemption told the tale of Tookie Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, and death row activist who was executed in California in 2005.
The moving story of three crime victims on a journey toward healing and resolution. The film follows participants in a pioneering program run by the state of Pennsylvania in which victims of the most violent crimes meet face-to-face with their perpetuators. Directed by Rachel Libert (2006, 90 mins), the film was followed by questions and answers with Rachel King, Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee (Majority Side), Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Ms. King is the author of Don't Kill In Our Name: Families of Murder Victims Speak Out Against the Death Penalty
(2003) and Capital Consequences: Families of the Condemned Tell Their Stories
Top of page: Audience members; Deidre Evans-Pritchard, Screen Justice Coordinator; and Rachel King. Above, Row 1: Debbie Kriegshauser, Chair of the Certified legal Video Specialists CLVS Council U.S., and Chip Muller, Attorney, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, LLP. Row 2: Professor Joseph Tulman; Chip Muller and Dr. Monica Robbers, Chair, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Marymount University.