To win on an anti-SLAPP special motion to strike motion, the defendant in the alleged SLAPP action must first show that the lawsuit is based on claims related to constitutionally protected activities , typically First Amendment rights such as free speech , and typically seeks to show that the claim lacks any basis of genuine substance, legal underpinnings, evidence, or prospect of success. If this is demonstrated then the burden shifts to the plaintiff to affirmatively present evidence demonstrating a reasonable probability of succeeding in their case by showing an actual wrong would exist as recognized by law, if the facts claimed were borne out.
This feature acts to greatly reduce the cost of litigation to the anti-SLAPP defendant, and can make beating the motion extremely difficult for the plaintiff, because they effectively must prove their case has at least a basis of visible legal merit and is not merely vexatious , prior to discovery. If the special motion is denied, the order denying the motion is immediately appealable. Defendants prevailing on an anti-SLAPP motion including any subsequent appeal are entitled to a mandatory award of reasonable attorney's fees.
After an anti-SLAPP motion has been filed, a plaintiff cannot escape this mandatory fee award by amending its complaint. Section The SLAPP penalty stands as a barrier to access to the courts by providing an early penalty to claimants who seek judicial redress. In recent years, the courts in some states have recognized that enforcement of SLAPP legislation must recognize and balance the constitutional rights of both litigants.
It has been said:. Since Magna Carta , the world has recognized the importance of justice in a free society. This nation's founding fathers knew people would never consent to be governed and surrender their right to decide disputes by force, unless government offered a just forum for resolving those disputes. The right to bring grievances to the courts, in good faith, is protected by state and federal constitutions in a variety of ways. In most states, the right to trial by jury in civil cases is recognized. The right to cross-examine witnesses is considered fundamental to the American judicial system.
Moreover, the first amendment protects the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The "right to petition extends to all departments of the Government. The right of access to the courts is indeed but one aspect of the right of petition. On the one hand, it is desirable to seek to shield citizens from improper intimidation when exercising their constitutional right to be heard with respect to issues of public concern.
On the other hand, it is important that such statutes be limited in scope lest the constitutional right of access to the courts whether by private figures, public figures, or public officials be improperly thwarted. There is a genuine double-edged challenge to those who legislate in this area. The most challenging balancing problem arises in application to SLAPP claims which do not sound give rise to a claim in tort. The common law and constitutional law have developed in the United States to create a high substantive burden to tort and tort-like claims which seek redress for public speech , especially public speech which addresses matters of public concern.
The common law in many states requires the pleader to state accurately the content of libelous words. Constitutional law has provided substantive protection which bars recovery against a first amendment defense except upon clear and convincing evidence that there has been deliberate or reckless falsehood. For this reason, ferreting out the bad faith SLAPP claim at an early stage of litigation should be accomplished with relative ease.
Extension of the SLAPP penalties to factually complex cases, where the substantive standard of proof at common law is lower presents special challenges. Stengrim , N. The decision arises in the context of an effort to enforce a settlement agreement between a local government and an opponent of a flood control project.
The landowner had accepted a significant monetary settlement in settlement of his opposition to land acquisition. The landowner agreed as part of the settlement to address no further challenges to the project. When the local government sued the landowner for breach of settlement, the landowner contended that enforcement of the settlement was a strategic lawsuit against public participation.
The Supreme Court rejected that claim and affirmed the District Court's denial of SLAPP relief, holding "The District Court properly denied a motion to dismiss where the underlying claim involved an alleged breach of a settlement agreement that potentially limited the moving party's rights to public participation. It would be illogical to read sections Under the Minnesota approach, as a preliminary matter, the moving party must meet the burden of showing that the circumstances which bring the case within the purview of SLAPP protection exists. Until that has been accomplished, no clear and convincing burden has been shifted to the responding party.
In , the real-estate investment company Pro Kapital Ltd sued urbanist Teele Pehk who expressed her opinion about the company's development plans in Kalasadam area in Tallinn , Estonia. The accusations were based on an interview given for the article "The battle for the Estonian coastline", published by the monthly newspaper The Baltic Times. Pehk provided proof to the lawyer that she had not lied to the journalist of The Baltic Times , and the newspaper published a clarification online that Pehk's words were misinterpreted.
Few months later Pro Kapital sued Pehk for damaging their reputation by spreading lies about the detailed plan of the Kalasadam area. Teele Pehk had been involved with the detailed plan of Kalasadam since , as a member of the neighbourhood association Telliskivi selts and caretaker of the Kalarand beach, situated on the edge of Kalasadam area.
Half a year into the court case, Pro Kapital began negotiations and settled with a compromise before the court hearing. Pro Kapital paid for Pehk's legal costs and both parties agreed not to disparage each other in the future. This first SLAPP case in Estonia took place at the end of the year process of planning the Kalasadam area, which over the years had witnessed exceptionally high public interest regarding the planned residential development and most importantly, the public use of the seaside and the beach.
The planning system in Estonia allows anyone to express their opinion, present suggestions or objections to any detailed plan. Many Estonian civic organisations were raising concerned voices about the case and the Chancellor for Justice of Estonia condemned that practice many times in public appearances.
During , Amir Bramly , who at the time was being investigated and subsequently indicted for an alleged ponzi scheme  sued for libel Tomer Ganon , a Calcalist reporter, privately for 1 million NIS in damages, due to a news item linking him to Bar Refaeli. In , Oricon Inc. The company sought 50 million yen and apology from him. He was found guilty in by the Tokyo District Court and ordered to pay one million yen , but he appealed and won. Oricon did not appeal later.
RSF expressed its support to the journalist and was relieved on the abandonment of the suit. In , Lovdata , a foundation which publishes judicial information, sued two people amongst the volunteers in the rettspraksis. Up until , Lovdata was considered a government agency and had unlimited access to the supreme court servers. Based on this access, Lovdata has established a de facto monopoly on Norwegian supreme court rulings. When rettspraksis. Although court decisions are not protected by copyright in Norway, Lovdata claimed that rettspraksis. In less than 24 hours, Lovdata was able to close the rettspraksis.
Also, rettspraksis. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Litigation to silence critics. Main article: Steubenville High School rape case. On The Media. Retrieved June 29, April 1, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. Retrieved July 7, Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Retrieved November 12, Temple University Press. The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to encourage continued participation in matters of public significance, and that this participation should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial process.
January 1, Fordham Law Review. Kings of England. Parliamentary Counsel's Office. Australian Capital Territory. December 12, Crow, et al BCSC ". British Columbia Superior Courts. July 30, Retrieved May 23, West Coast Environmental Law Association. June 6, Retrieved July 6, Retrieved March 10, Nova Scotia legislature. May 23, Ministry of the Attorney General. June Retrieved January 16, Law is Cool. October 6, Legislative Assembly of Ontario. October 28, Council of the Corporation of The Township of Billings.
August 21, Environmental Defence Canada. March 3, Archived from the original on November 10, Canadian Civil Liberties Association. December 2, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. November 29, Toronto Star. Ontario Civil Liberties Association. Banro Corporation" PDF.
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. Archived from the original PDF on April 6, Canadian Association of University Teachers Bulletin. Digital Media Law Project. Public Participation Project. Retrieved February 18, July 9, Boston Bar Journal. Retrieved June 2, Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Alpine Avalanche. March 31, June 21, Retrieved September 28, Schenks; F. December 22, Lake Charles Am. Press, L.
April 14, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company". Foreign Policy Grp. April 24, Archived from the original on April 3, Retrieved June 26, Open Congress for the th United States Congress. Participatory Politics Foundation and Sunlight Foundation. Publishers Weekly.
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September 6, October 5, The Social Contract from Hobbes to Rawls 1st ed. Trucking Unlimited et al. Browns Mill Development Company, Inc. The conservative, by-the-book Maggie was paid by the hour, while her father took the case on a contingency basis and at a set percentage rate if he won , with assistance from Nick Holbrook Laurence Fishburne. She was assisted by supervisor-partner Michael Grazier Colin Friels , a romantic interest. Verdict: The two strong-willed, rival lawyers battled it out, bringing their personal family issues to the courtroom.
One turning point came for Maggie when she discovered a previously-concealed, unfavorable engineering report by Dr. Pavel Jan Rubes , claiming that there was an electrical fault or defect in the Meridian. Its left-turn blinker could cause an explosion if it was in an accident.
When she decided to turn over the report to her father, she realized that Michael had destroyed it. During testimony, Jedidah accused Maggie - and her law firm - of destroying the report did it exist or not? Jedidah confirmed that the report had existed by the testimony of a witness and had been known to both Dr. Getchell and Michael. In the surprise ending, it was revealed that in the middle of the trial, Jedidah and Maggie decided to conspire together to expose both corrupt entities: Argo and Michael - thereby forming a new partnership. JFK d.
Kennedy assassination on November 22, Its intriguing interpretation was based on the well-publicized and alleged conspiracy theories of the obsessed attorney about the mystery of the death, and on the testimony of a number of unreliable witnesses. Verdict: The trial scene in the last half of the film featured three very memorable segments to disprove the idea that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald Gary Oldman acted alone: 1 a detailed analysis of the famous Zapruder film shot near the grassy knoll that was subpoened by Garrison's office, but unseen by the American public.
The film disproved the Warren Commission's open and shut case of "three bullets, one assassin" - "the time frame of 5. The film concluded with him staring directly into the camera, and addressing the viewing audience and jury : "It's up to you. Let Him Have It , Fr. The historically-related crime drama's tagline clearly stated: "The shocking story of an unbelievable miscarriage of justice" - the film's title had a double meaning. In the s, 19 year-old Derek Bentley Christopher Eccleston was a dim-witted mental age of 11 , reclusive, working class member of a South London family, subject to epileptic seizures due to head injuries suffered in the early years of WWII during the Blitz.
In , he had just been released from reform school for petty vandalism, against his father William's Tom Courtenay wishes. Chris fantasized about being a gangster after watching American crime movies, and collected an arsenal guns. The two were surprised by police officers while breaking into the rooftop of a empty London warehouse. Armed with a gun, Craig opened fire and killed constable Sidney Miles Robert Morgan , possibly with Bentley's urging, and wounded officer Sgt. Fairfax Tom Bell.
Because of his age, Craig could not be tried as an adult for murder, but Bentley could.
Strategic lawsuit against public participation - Wikipedia
The magistrate for the case was pompous, opinionated Lord Goddard Michael Gough. Verdict: During the trial, the prosecutors were relentless, and the Judge rushed to judgment. Fairfax testified that Bentley had incited Craig to shoot the officer by yelling: "Let him have it, Chris! Bentley's lawyer even argued the opposite point: "Let him have it, Chris!
And Derek and Craig both stated that Derek was unaware of Craig's gun. Craig was sentenced to indefinite imprisonment he served 10 years and was released in for firing the fatal shot. Bentley was sentenced to hang for inciting Chris to shoot and kill, and he was executed in at the age of 19 within a month of his conviction. Twelve years after Bentley's hanging in , England's Parliament abolished the death penalty.
In mid, a British appeals court posthumously righted one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in court history by fully exonerating Derek Bentley. The court found that Bentley had been denied a "fair trial which is the birthright of every British citizen. A Few Good Men d. In this dramatic thriller, two Marines: Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson Wolfgang Bodison and Pfc. Louden Downey James Marshall , were accused of "conduct unbecoming" - murdering Pfc. William T. Unhappy and desiring a transfer to another base, Santiago had ratted on Downey for illegally shooting his pistol into Cuban territory.
An illegal 'Code Red' command was ordered to haze Santiago as an extra-judicial disciplinary action, and he suffocated and died when his mouth was gagged and mouth taped. Downey's defense case was assigned to neophyte military lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee Tom Cruise , known for plea-bargaining and conflict avoidance and not taking cases to trial , assisted by more strident Lt.
Sam Weinberg Kevin Pollak. The defense team traveled to Cuba and met with the base's commander, imperious Col. Nathan R. Jessup Jack Nicholson.
Strategic lawsuit against public participation
According to Jessup, he ordered Lt. Jonathan Kendrick Kiefer Sutherland to protect Santiago, and that he gave a transfer order, to have Santiago transferred to Andrews AFB on a military plane, but Santiago died the night before. Kendrick and Lt. Matthew Andrew Markinson J. Walsh , Jessup's second in command, confirmed Jessup's account, later revealed to be untrue. The prosecutor in the case was Capt. Verdict: Prosecutor Ross proposed a plea bargain, 6 months in prison and dishonorable discharge. But Galloway refused. Down the chain of command, Jessup who hadn't actually approved a transfer appeared to have ordered Kendrick to initiate a Code Red, carried out by the two marines.
Outside of court, Markinson asserted to Kaffee that a transfer order was never issued by Jessup. In fact, Jessup had doctored flight records and logs that had revealed that Santiago could have left on an earlier flight before his death. Guilty over the cover-up he was involved in, Markinson committed suicide before officially testifying. In the court-martial hearing, Downey asserted that Kendrick had ordered the two to Code Red Santiago, but his testimony was discredited.
On the witness stand, an infuriated Jessup was asked about Santiago's transfer order - logically, it was unnecessary if Santiago was not in danger of a Code Red. Also, there was no indication that Santiago had been told about a transfer and was preparing for it. Under intense cross-examination, the arrogant Jessup lost it on the witness stand when he thought officers from Andrews AFB were there to contradict his account, and when he thought he was caught in contradictory lies.
Kaffee directly asked: "Colonel Jessup, did you order the code red? The case concluded with Dawson and Downey acquitted of murder, but given a dishonorable discharge. My Cousin Vinny d. Bill contacted his cousin Vincent "Vinny" LaGuardia Gambini Joe Pesci to defend him, not knowing that Vinny who recently became a lawyer was an ex-auto mechanic who had no court or trial experience, and had flunked the bar exam six times.
Heavy-accented Brooklynite and personal injury lawyer Vinny and his talkative and abrasive fiancee, unemployed Italian-American hairdresser Mona Lisa Vito Marisa Tomei arrived in town to defend the boys, and soon faced stern, upright and increasingly-frustrated Judge Chamberlain Haller Fred Gwynne , who sent Vinny to jail overnight for contempt of court.
Verdict: During the trial, the D. Jim Trotter III Lane Smith produced three eye-witnesses to the crime, and Vinny eventually was able to effectively cross-examine them, especially by debunking witness Sam Tipton's Maury Chaykin account of preparing grits in only five minutes. Although resistant, Mona Lisa took the witness stand, and produced photos she had taken of the tire marks in front of the store. She claimed the real perpetrators drove a Pontiac Tempest with Positraction , something not installed on the boys' Buick Skylark.
Her testimony proved decisive when Sheriff Dean Farley Bruce McGill revealed that two youths resembling Bill and Stan were arrested in Georgia - with a stolen Pontiac and the murder weapon. Guilty As Sin d. In this inferior, preposterous cat-and-mouse dramatic thriller similar to Jagged Edge , the plot introduced successful, ambitious and over-confident female criminal defense attorney Jennifer Haines Rebecca DeMornay in Chicago, who was dating fellow lawyer Phil Garson Stephen Lang.
She took on the defense of accused murderer David Edgar Greenhill Don Johnson , a sexually-aggressive womanizer who was about to gain his dead wife Rita's Brigit Wilson fortune. Suffering from clinical depression, she had taken a fall from their high-rise apartment window. The film's tagline described the entire setup: "She's finally met her match. He's handsome, wealthy, seductive. A Real Lady Killer. Haines found herself duped and enveloped by her slick playboy client's fixated attentions and stalkings: constant phone-calls, and delivery of dry-cleaning to her office with dropped hints of a sexual relationship.
When Haines requested that Judge Dana Ivey remove her from the case, due to Greenhill's unpaid fees, she was declined. She could not have evidence of Haines' past serial killer guilt brought to light, constrained by the attorney-client privilege of confidentiality. Verdict: Just prior to Rita's death, she had repeatedly called the police to report her fears, and she had allegedly sent a letter to state authorities fearing she might be murdered by her husband.
During the trial, the prosecution with a handwriting expert declared the letter phony - it was intimated that it was written by Greenhill himself, to discredit the prosecution's case. In an attempt to betray her client, Haines planted incriminating evidence in his apartment and then tipped off the police with an anonymous phone call. Greenhill was suspicious and caught on to the ploy, and assaulted her boyfriend Phil. To bolster his case at the last minute, Greenhill presented surprise witness Kathleen Bigelow Barbara Eve Harris who testified that she was having sex with Greenhill at the time of the crime.
The trial concluded with a hung jury and mistrial. In private, however, Greenhill confessed his "guilty as sin" status to Haines, and declared that he knew she had tried to discredit him with planted evidence. In the film's closing minutes, Greenhill confronted and knocked Moe unconscious in an ambush - he had gathered damning evidence of previous wrong-doing. He left Moe and the evidence in the burning building. Haines and Greenhill struggled on a balcony and both toppled over - Greenhill softened Haines' fall and perished, while she survived with serious injuries.
In the Name of the Father , Ire. During a series of IRA Irish Republican Army bombing attacks against the British, two explosions occurred at a Guildford pub outside London, killing five and wounding dozens of others. Suspected petty thief and drug user Gerry Conlon Daniel Day-Lewis and friend Paul Hill John Lynch were charged with the crime and arrested, and held for seven days, although they had a sound alibi on the night of the bombing - they were engaged in a robbery of a prostitute's apartment in London, and speaking to homeless man Charlie Burke Joe McPartland.
The group was suspected of being IRA sympathizers. There were seven other related defendants primarily members of Gerry's extended family , known as the Maguire Seven one of whom was Giuseppe Conlon Pete Postlethwaite , Gerry's father , charged with being accessories to the bombing by bomb-making and terrorist associations. Verdict: The trial was quick and grossly unfair. Although the defendants claimed their innocence, and there was no evidence other than coerced confessions, the Guildford Four were sentenced to life imprisonment.
There were sentences of years for the Maguire Seven. Wrongly imprisoned. He fought for justice to clear his father's name. On the stand, Dixon was accused of lying and concealing evidence, forcing the judge to dismiss the charges against both falsely-accused groups. Unfortunately, six of the seven Maguire Seven had already served their sentences, and Giuseppe had already died in prison. Outside the courtroom, Gerry spoke: "I'm an innocent man.
I spent 15 years in prison for something I didn't do. I watched my father die in a British prison for something he didn't do. And this government still says he's guilty. I want to tell them that until my father is proved innocent, until all the people involved in this case are proved innocent, until the guilty ones are brought to justice, I will fight on. In the name of my father and of the truth! They remain in British prisons to this day. Three ex-detectives were acquitted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice after their trial May 19, No policeman has been convicted of any crime in this case.
Philadelphia d. Jonathan Demme's milestone film was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to address the issues of homosexuality and homophobia, in a case of wrongful termination. During his preparations for the case, he remained at home and papers that he filed at work were temporarily misplaced or lost. Beckett was fired for his sloppy work, although he attributed his sacking to suspicions that he had AIDS, due to an obvious lesion on his face.
Although reluctant to represent Beckett at first, personal injury attorney Joe Miller Denzel Washington , with an intense fear of germs and slightly homophobic, accepted the defense assignment. Belinda Conine Mary Steenburgen represented the large Wheeler corporate law firm. Verdict: During the trial held about seven months later, Beckett's health had already deteriorated and worsened, and he was visibly ill. Miller had to prove that Beckett's firm had deliberately hidden his case papers as a pretext and excuse to fire him after learning of his diagnosis and panicking.
Miller would argue that Beckett was protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Firm lawyers Wheeler and Walter Kenton Robert Ridgely testified that they were unaware of Beckett's illness or visible lesions and that Beckett had indeed concealed his lifestyle and illness. They claimed that Beckett was fired instead for incompetence and sloppy work. Defense attorney Conine repeatedly suggested that Beckett had invited his illness through promiscuity and was therefore not a victim.
In one of the most dramatic scenes, Conine held a mirror up to Beckett's face, illustrating that he had no lesions. However, it was further demonstrated that Beckett had lesions on his chest when he opened his shirt similar to the one he had earlier on his face. Beckett also confirmed that he had probably acquired AIDS through anonymous sex with a stranger in a gay porno movie house known as the Stallion Cinema.
As the trial proceeded, Beckett was hospitalized and near death when the jury came to the conclusion that he was fired because he had AIDS. Beckett was awarded back pay, 'pain and suffering' and compensatory punitive damages, while his law firm promised to appeal the decision. In the final scene Beckett died in the presence of his longtime companion Miguel Antonio Banderas.
Sommersby , Fr. Jon Amiel, minutes, Warner Bros. Set in the Civil War Reconstruction era, this mystery-romance and melodrama about deceptive identities and impersonation was an Americanized remake of The Return of Martin Guerre , Fr. The war had ended two years earlier. The presumed-dead soldier approached his officially-widowed wife, Laurel Sommersby Jodie Foster and young son Rob Brett Kelley , although there was some hesitation before they embraced.
Things about him were suspicious - his reduced shoe size, and the family dog Jethro didn't know him. He was a much different, kinder personality than the abusive, drunken, cruel, callous and bitter husband who had left the broken-down home years earlier.
He surprised everyone with a visionary plan to create racial equality. He would divide up his cotton-field landholdings into purchasable tobacco plots for all of the citizens of the economically-impoverished community - making them sharecroppers former black slaves included , and stirring up the reactionary KKK.
One of the family friends who had taken Sommersby's place when he was presumed dead was fiancee Orin Meecham Bill Pullman , who was now jilted and displaced with his return - and Laurel's swelling pregnant belly. Then, Sommersby was arrested by federal marshals for the murder of Charles Conklin in another town, an act committed when he was drunk before he went off to war. Verdict: The claim was that Sommersby was caught cheating at poker, challenged by Conklin - and after a struggle, Conklin was shot dead.
During the trial, the strategy by the defense lawyer was to argue that the individual charged with the murder was NOT Sommersby. To save his life although he would still be charged with fraud and military desertion , Laurel testified that she liked the imposter more than her original husband. At that point, Sommersby fired his defense attorney and took up his own case - to affirm his identity as the real Sommersby.
His faced a tough choice: either admit being a lying scoundrel his real-identity , or be punished for the crime of murder as Sommersby. He cross-examined Laurel and forced her to admit she had perjured herself to save him. He also cross-examined Folsom, forcing him to admit his KKK associations. But Sommersby did not defend himself from the accusation of murder - he was convicted, and sentenced to death by hanging. While awaiting his execution, 'Sommersby' admitted to Laurel that he was indeed Townsend.
The real Sommersby - after his release from the POW camp - was wounded during a fight in which his opponent was murdered - and soon died. It Could Happen to You d. Andrew Bergman, minutes, TriStar Pictures, 0 nominations. This contrived, dramatic Capra-esque romance was about "A cop. A waitress. A lottery ticket. Officer Charlie Lang Nicolas Cage , a compassionate, generous, and virtuous New York City Queens cop, bought a lottery ticket at the urging of his obnoxious, shrewish and shrill wife Muriel Rosie Perez , choosing the number 26 instead of Muriel's suggestion of The media publicized the lottery results at a press conference - announcing the bargain between Charlie, his reluctant wife, and the waitress.
Yvonne was being harrassed by her estranged, sleazy, blackmailing, spend-thrift husband Eddie Stanley Tucci who suddenly appeared. Optimistic Charlie had told Muriel, "We should do the right thing," and that he was confident that they would still become rich and famous due to publicity and commercial endorsements.
However, there were romantic and legal complications when the materialistic and greedy Muriel suspected Charlie of an affair with Yvonne, and threatened divorce. Charlie would not agree to giving up Yvonne's share. Charlie testified that he and Yvonne were now in love, but had never met before the lottery ticket incident. The jury awarded Muriel the entire amount. Saddened by the verdict, Charlie and Yvonne visited the diner which Yvonne had bought, but would now lose. On the other hand, Muriel was swindled out of her money by her new husband, nouveau riche con man Jack Gross Seymour Cassel.
Trial By Jury d. Heywood Gould, minutes, Morgan Creek Productions, 0 nominations. In this dramatic crime thriller about jury tampering, the tagline described one female juror's motivation to obey the convicted crime boss on trial: "To protect her child from the Mob, she did what any mother would have done. To ensure a court victory, members of the mobster gang, including corrupt, low-life, disgraced ex-cop Tommy Vesey William Hurt , forced Alston into a van at her 7-year old son's Bryan Shilowich soccer game practice, and threatened to kill her and her son if she didn't vote Pirone innocent.
While out on bail, Pirone unlawfully entered Pirone's apartment, threatened her with violence if she didn't cooperate, and raped her.
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Verdict: During the trial, prosecutor Graham's solid strategy was to offer leniency to some of the witnesses convicts in prison if they testified against Pirone. Pirone's uncle was persuaded to cooperate when threatened with photographs of himself conducting homosexual acts in prison. However, the intimidated Alston remained steadfastly firm in voting 'not guilty' in the jury room, where she contended that Pirone was set up and that his constitutional rights were violated.
Eventually, she convinced three other jurors to vote with her, and Judge Feld Robert Breuler declared a mis-trial. To learn how he lost the case, Graham began a personal investigation into the jurors, and zeroed in on Alston. A search of her apartment revealed an incriminating photograph.
In the striking conclusion, Alston attempted to seduce Pirone in his country home as a ploy. As he tried to smother her, she knifed him to death - an act of vengeful vigilantism. She told Graham: "You live your life, believing in things like justice and the law. Then someone grabs you off the street in broad daylight. Walks right past the police and tells you that he'll reach out from beyond the grave and kill your son. You don't think about right or wrong, you only think about survival. You do what you have to do.
Losing Isaiah d. Stephen Gyllenhaal, minutes, Paramount Pictures, 0 nominations. Along the lines of Kramer vs. Kramer , this melodrama was about a vicious custody battle for a boy, and inter-racial adoption. Infant Isaiah was found abandoned in a garbage trash bin in an alley, deposited there by his African-American drug-addicted mother Khaila Richards Halle Berry. Margaret Lewin Jessica Lange , one of the white social workers at the medical hospital where Isaiah was treated, adopted the young boy into her family, including her husband Charles David Strathairn and sullen, pre-teen 11 year-old daughter Hannah Daisy Eagan.
The child, due to being a crack baby, had developmental issues, including hyperactivity, educational challenges, and emotional problems. However, three to four years later, once reformed birth mother Khaila had been released from prison for shoplifting and had freed herself from her cocaine-addiction through rehab, she wanted her son back. She was defended by zealous legal aid attorney Kadar Lewis Samuel L. Jackson on a pro bono basis.
The lengthy custody hearing-case, held in a Chicago courtroom with Judge Silbowitz Jacqueline Brookes , was summarized in the tagline: "Who decides what makes a mother? Verdict: Mother Khaila testified that she was now qualified to mother Isaiah properly. Cross-examination revealed that she had been a prostitute, but had turned a new leaf - she had taken a job as a nanny and housekeeper for an affluent white couple.
A social worker also claimed that Isaiah would be better served with a black parent, while another contradicted that claim, affirming that it would be detrimental if Isaiah left his adoptive parents to whom he was now tightly bonded. Kadar argued that "Black babies belong with black mothers. The judge decided in favor of the simple-minded Khaila who didn't consider the consequences of the return of Isaiah.
The transition was difficult for Isaiah, and he fought readjusting to a new parent. In the conclusion, Khaila contacted Margaret to have the child returned for the time being, for the best interests of the child. Murder in the First d. Marc Rocco, minutes, Warner Bros. This dramatic thriller, an indictment of the American penal system, its prisons and the miscarriage of justice, was very loosely based upon or inspired by the true case of an Alcatraz prisoner named Henri Young in the late s and early s.
In , Young and fellow inmate Rufus "Ray" McCain David Michael Sterling failed in an escape attempt when fellow escapee Ray ratted , and Young was punished with solitary confinement in a rat-infested, icy dungeon for 3 years after being slashed with a straight razor by the sadistic and vicious associate prison warden Milton Glenn Gary Oldman.
Inhumanely treated and almost crazy, he received only a half an hour of daylight per year. Almost immediately after his release in , Young stabbed and killed Rufus with an eating utensil in the neck. He was prosecuted for first-degree murder and destined for the gas chamber. He was defended by boyish-looking, idealistic, recent Harvard Law School grad James Stamphill Christian Slater , a newbie public defender who had no experience in trial cases.
Here's where the film's tagline began to make sense: "One was condemned. The other was determined. Two men whose friendship gave them the will to take on the system. Crusty and stern Judge Clawson R. Lee Ermey allowed Stamphill's ambitious attempt to put Alcatraz on trial for its inhumane treatment of prisoners. Verdict: It was challenging to convince guards or prisoners to testify against the brutal conditions at Alcatraz. When Glenn was called to the stand, he couldn't explain why so many prisoners became mentally insane during his time as warden.
Young took the stand and would not agree to plead guilty to the charges. He feared returning to Alcatraz and further punishment. The jury's verdict was 'involuntary manslaughter' unintentional murder - and they further called for a full investigation into Alcatraz. Warden Glenn was forbidden to work in the US penal system. When Young returned to Alcatraz, he was again placed in solitary confinement, and found dead about 7 months later in his cell. Ghosts of Mississippi d. He was gunned down in his own driveway, where his wife and three children watched in horror.
Bigoted and arrogant white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith James Woods , with ties to the KKK, was charged with the murder and had been brought to trial twice both cases led to mistrials and hung decisions of all-white juries. Now, over thirty years later, La Beckwith would again face trial.