CRIM 211 Film Schedule

(6:30 pm; 511 Nebraska Hall)

Extra credit will be given to those who attend these films and write a paper regarding the movie.  Each paper is to be a minimum of 600 words in length (note the word count at the bottom of the paper).  The papers are to address the study questions that have been prepared for each film.  The study questions are on the web at Film questions.doc.  There are five movies planned during the semester.  Students may attend all, a few, or none of the films.  Students will receive up to 5 points of extra credit for every film they attend and paper they subsequently submit.  Students who attend all five films and write five quality papers can receive up to a total of 25 extra-credit points.   Papers are due on the dates shown below.  Turn the papers in during class or at the School of Criminology offices (310 Nebraska Hall).   No late papers will be accepted.


Shown September 10 and 13 – Papers due September 18

Scottsboro:  An American Tragedy (90 minutes) - In March 1931, two white women stepped off a box car in Paint Rock, Alabama, with a shocking accusation of gang rape, by nine black teenagers on the train. So began the Scottsboro case, one of the 20th century's fieriest legal battles. The youths' trial generated the sharpest regional conflict since the Civil War, led to momentous Supreme Court decisions, and helped give birth to the civil rights movement.




Shown September 24 and 27 – Papers due October 2

The Supreme Court (60 minutes) – This film traces the workings of America’s highest court and examines the key Justices who have shaped it.  The series features some of the key cases defining the vision of the Court and the often explosive collisions between the Court and the presidency. 




Shown October 1 and 4 – Papers due October 9

12 Angry Men (95 minutes) – An examination of a “diverse” group of twelve jurors (yet all male, white, middle-aged) who deliberate after hearing the facts in a seemingly open-and-shut murder case. They retire to the jury room to do their civic duty, and only after a significant measure of difficult and at times painful discussion, do they render a verdict for the indigent minority defendant.




Shown October 8 and 11 – Papers due October 16

Real Justice (90 minutes) - Homicides, drug arrests, car theft, assault and battery - all in a day's work for prosecutors at Boston's Suffolk County district attorney's office and their 50,000 criminal cases a year.  The film goes inside the real-life U.S. criminal justice system to reveal offers, counter-offers, deals, and compromises that keep cases moving. It examines the mundane cases, which are handled swiftly in the lower courts, as well as the more challenging and complex cases handled by the higher courts.




Shown October 18 – Papers due October 23

The Plea (90 minutes) - It is the centerpiece of America's judicial process:  the trial by jury system that places a defendant's fate in the hands of a jury.  The de facto reality is that some 90 to 95 percent of all criminal cases never reach a jury, but instead are settled through plea bargains.  The film explores the moral, judicial, and constitutional implications of relying on plea bargains to expedite justice.