Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Crime and punishment in Las Vegas

I don't often recommend TV shows, but Sin City Law is a worthy exception to the rule. Made by the same documentary team responsible for Murder on a Sunday Morning and the The Staircase, it offers a fly-on-the wall view of the legal system in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tonight's episode, Bourbon Strip, is part 2 of a trial of an elderly man accused of stabbing a friend to death in a drunken rage.

The access that the show's producers have been given is incredible. The stories are as compelling as any Law & Order or CSI but with the added impact of knowing that what you're watching actually happened.

It's on tonight at 8:30 on ABC2.


Anonymous said...

Where's Alan Shore when you need him?

Sarah Goodwyn said...

Thanks for letting us know about this. I hadn't heard about it before and it was really interesting to see how they do things in America.

I thought it was sad at the end when they had the old man locked up in the cell. What are they trying to accomplish by giving a 70 year old a life sentence?

Still, great show and I'll be sure to watch all the remaingin episodes.

MadMax said...

I agree with everything you have said, Sarah - EXCEPT for the part about feeling sorry for the killer. I thought it was noticeable that there was nobody from the victim's family in the program. Was that because they didn't want to participate or just because the victim didn't have any relatives?

The American system might be a little crazy but it is undeniable that a person who is locked up cannot commit more crime - against the public anyway.

Jeremy Gans said...

In fairness to the producers, none of the Las Vegas newspaper articles about this case mention any relatives of the victim. It's entirely possible that he had no supporters (not that that diminishes the crime, but it does complicate the balance of the documentary.) Problems of access (in part) led to a greater lack of balance in the previous doco, The Staircase.

Bourbon Strip has been the best episode of the new series so far. I intend to use it to teach confession law in my evidence course. (I already use the Staircase to teach the rest of the course.)

Amazing that people agree to be filmed. How unprofessional were those lawyers (on both sides) and even the judge?