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The Courtroom in Reel and Real Scenarios

by jonestina101

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I have always been fascinated with court drama. You know, that kind we always see in movies and novels, sometimes in television series? Okay, let me paint one scene for you.

Setting: criminal court
Characters: the accused and the defense attorney on one side; the prosecution on the other side
Scene: the prosecutor and the defense attorney on a heated argument regarding a serious crime say, first-degree murder or homicide.

So you see what I mean now? This scene is probably a default to any John Grisham or Tami Hoag novel. Surprisingly, even though that is already quite a cliche, I still look forward to it every time I watch a crime or court movie.

This fascination led me to point out the obvious differences between the prosecutor and the defense attorney. We know that each one is a criminal lawyer but placed on opposing sides--like Darth Vader and Yoda, Joker and the Batman, yin and yang. In general, the two criminal lawyers are on either sides of good or evil--most of the time. I highlighted the "most of the time" because not all accused are guilty of the crimes pinned to them.

We are more than familiar with the opening phrase, State versus (insert name of accused here). For me, that is the cue for a heated court action in any crime or court movie. However, that almost only happen in fiction. The real courtroom scenarios are mostly boring and dry. No passionate arguments. No sob stories. When you attend a courtroom session, you will end up getting bored (most of the time). The defense attorney states his or her case. The prosecutor counters and states his or her case as well. The jury and the judges come up with a decision based on the evidences and the arguments and then that's it.

Even if they are criminal cases, you can seldom see real action because most of them are black and white cases. Most of the time, the prosecution's evidence is already foolproof that there is no room for argument. We are just so used with the sensationalism we feel in books and movies that we expect every courtroom proceeding should have every bit of action. When a situation actually puts us in a courtroom (hopefully not a criminal case), we are just surprised at how fast the proceeding is. Most people who expect more end up exclaiming (with idiotic faces), "Wait, that's it?"

Yes, that's pretty much it. Our fascination with all things Hollywood invades even real-life situations. If you want to experience real action in the courtroom, sit in one of the major criminal cases, where there is still no guarantee that the accused is indeed the criminal. Criminal cases are usually more intense than other cases like corporate, divorce, or family. Heck, some family cases don't even need to go to court. They can just settle it internally. Well, that's the thing. We get disappointed all the time. But if you want to remain entertained by court drama, just stick with the movies and the books in the comfort of your home.

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