Un Coupable Idéal (Murder on a Sunday morning)

4 out of 5 snowstones
The 2002 Oscar for Documentary went to a simple but horrifying tale. After a woman is shot dead by a black man during a robbery in Jacksonville, Florida, police simply pick up the first black male they see, a 15-year-old boy. In a confrontaton, the victim's widower identifies him as the killer. The boy is interrogated and, when he refuses to confess, taken into the woods and beaten. He subsequently confesses. The documentary follows the public defender as he skillfully unravels his opponents' flagrant abuse and incompetence. The boy's family, too, is shown, patient and seemingly resigned to the proceedings. In the end, the boy is acquitted and in an epilogue, we see the actual killer convicted several months later. The film is a powerful testament to the stupidity, racism, and neglect of duty of the Jacksonville police and prosecutor's office, and shows how badly needed defense attorneys are as the last line of defense from police misconduct. But it must be admitted that the movie shows only one side of the story. The DA and cops are never seen telling their story outside of the trial room. It's unclear whether they refused to comment or were simply never interviewed. Either case, it's bad journalistic practice.
Posted by cronopio at 02:01 AM, September 15, 2003