Final Project - Fiction versus Reality

Final Project - Fiction versus Reality - Fiction versus...

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Fiction versus Reality 1 Final Project: Fiction versus Reality CJS / 220
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Fiction versus Reality 2 The United States Judicial System is a vast and complex process responsible for ensuring the protections of society and its citizens. Fictional portrayals of the courtroom found in books, movies, or television seem to indicate that most cases go to trial, while in reality they do not. The participants of both fictional and reality courtrooms play key roles and are vital to the success, either legally, or entertaining. Although most fictional courtroom encounters provide the ultimate dramatic approach, reality courtroom is much more subdued and maintains a symbol of prestige. The trial process in the reality courtroom process takes much preparation, patients, and dedication. Fictional courtroom dramas are virtually rapped up in a one hour program showing little evidence of the time spent on preparation. Although the real life drama portrayed in the movie of Erin Brockovich (fight against a large energy corporation) indicated much time spent on gathering evidence, the entire movie was completed in approximately two hours. The suspense and excitement brought forth through the fictional approach to the trial process is more often eliminated in real life court proceedings. Television, movies, and books are designed to capture the audience’s attention and provide entertainment. Real life trials can present some interesting and entertaining aspects but the main focus is to ensure that justice has been served. Some aspects of fictional courtroom television series such as Law and Order provide parallels to the law. Many of the shows present the prosecution building a case to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the accused is guilty. According to The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System (2003), “The prosecutor has the legal burden of proving the state’s case against the
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Fiction versus Reality 3 accused beyond a reasonable doubt . There is no legal requirement that the defendant even present a defense.” (p. 58-59).
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