Beginning September 10 a new eight-part series will air on The Sundance Channel focusing on four recent criminal trials in Las Vegas. This series is produced by filmmakers Denis Poncet and Jean Xavier Lestrade. "Denis and Jean Xavier have displayed a knack for finding stories that get right to the heart of how the American justice system functions and a talent for letting the stories tell themselves," says Laura Michalchyshyn, Executive Vice President and GM of Programming and Creative Affairs at the Sundance Channel.
The series takes viewers into the depths of the trials, watching the prosecutors and defenders work with their evidence, witnesses, and clients. In the opening case, "Battered Innocence," a particularly brutal crime in which a little girl was stabbed to death and her sister was left paralyzed, is front and center. In this case viewers see the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of the public defenders who, although they know their client is guilty, do everything they can to get her off. Then, as the evidence mounts, they do their best to get her the lightest sentence, trying to strike a deal with the prosecutor.
The sad part about this case, and many others, is the public defender who feels sorry for her client, even though she knows she brutally attacked the two young girls. She blames her upbringing, which should not be an excuse for this brutal attack or any crime. Yet, this public defender hugs her client and is sympathetic to the murderer. This case in particular, because of the horror of the vicious acts, shines a spotlight on the justice system and how we view those convicted and the victims. This public defender actually rationalizes that the girl who was left a paraplegic is living a better life now than she would have if she had not been attacked, simply because her mother was a drug dealer (the reason for the attacks by the two defendants) and since the attack she was placed in a different environment. However this public defender has no way of knowing that the girl would not have left that atmosphere and gone on to a better life, with her legs in tact. This attorney basically says her client helped the girl by stabbing her and killing her sister. This is what the justice system has come to. This is a travesty and this show provides viewers an up-close-and-personal view of the system.
Because these are real cases, the cameras are right there as the cases unfold and viewers see inside the justice system for the first time, and actually see real people doing their jobs instead of actors playing parts and reading drama-enhanced scripts. No added drama is necessary in this show. It is drama enough.
Sin City Law will air September 10 at 9pm on The Sundance Channel.