A Thin Blue Line By Errol Morris

1008 Words5 Pages

Since 1989, over 1500 people have been exonerated for crimes they served time for but did not commit.(NRA) These are only the cases we know about. In our country’s justice system, many wrongfully convicted people are never given a chance to be exonerated and remain in prison for their entire sentencing. Errol Morris, an American film director attempted to shine a light on the dark side of the criminal justice system. In his 1988 documentary, “A Thin Blue Line,” Morris conveys the need for our justice system to be reformed as he trails the court case of Ranadall Adams, a man wrongfully convicted of a murder; following the case through the prosecution painting an unfair view of Adams, flimsy witness testimonys, and prosecutors who’s motives are …show more content…

However in Adams case and in many others, the proscution relies on less honorable tactics, such as displaying the defense to the jury in an unsavory light. In Morris’s documentary, the prosecution depicted Adams as “drifter” spending time with an underage kid and “smoking marijuana.”(A Thin Blue Line) By leading the jury to form a negative opinion before any other evidence was shown, the proscution unfairly leads the jury to form negative views of Adams. Labeling Adams as a drifter who smoked weed, and David Harris the only other suspect, as a “sixteen year old kid,”(A thin Blue line) the prosecution intetionally led the jurory to believe that Harris was an innocent kid and Adams was a drifter on the fringe of society. The prosecution charged Adams with these crimes based on reasons such as he was a “drifter,” and he “smoked marijauana,”(A Thine Blue Line) which is an example of misconduct because there was no concrete evidence against Adams. Yet the court allowed it to happen. Allowing prosecution to sway jurors with opinions and not facts is dangerous to our justice sytem in that it allows more room for error, and wrongful …show more content…

Getting the death penalty in particular was a factor in Moulder going after Adam, and not sixteen year old David Harris. Under Texas law Harris could not recieve the death penalty while Adams could. Getting the death penalty verdict would have provided Moulder with an even better reputation than a life in prison sentencing. Therefore Moulder had had a stronger motive for prosecuting Adams, than for going after anyone else. Attorneys need to be focused on only finding the truth and not personal gain. In other instances, like in Steven Truscott’s murder case, prosecutors pushed for the death penalty for the fourteen year old, as the death penalty would generate much more interest than life in prison. Truscott was later aquitted of the murder and the governement of Ontario awarded him 6.5 million in compensation.(Ontario Compensates Steven Truscott) When prosecutors push for a conviction for the purpose of getting a conviction and not the truth, a grave unjustice has been commited. Pushing for the death penalty and ignoring evidence of innocence causes courts to lose sight of the the truth. Our justice system must be reformed to prevent similar instances from happening in the future. Prosecutors must be focused on finding the truth and the facts of the case, not what will look best in

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