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Movie “My Cousin Vinny”

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 993
  • Category: Law Police

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First let me start off by saying that the movie My Cousin Vinny is a classic movie and is a good comedy. With that being said I think this movie did a good job of giving people a little taste of the insight that actually goes into the criminal justice system. Throughout this essay I will be explaining how the way the movie portrayed the Criminal justice system is wrong and right in some cases. Along with that I will put in my two senses on how the situation would or should have been handled in our present time in day. This movie is based around Billy and Stan being accused of a murder at a gas station in Alabama.

Now let’s start with the very first thing that caught my eye in this movie. When Billy Gambinni and Stan Rothenstien are pulled over by the police officer leaving the Sac-o-Suds, they think they are being pulled over because of the can of tuna that Billy accidentally stole. The officer immediately draws his weapon upon exiting his vehicle and yells for them to “show me your hands! Show me your hands! Get them up! Up! Up! Now put your hands on your head and get out of the car!” Now at first I thought that officer was in the wrong. Later on you find out that they were thought to be the murders that just killed Mr. Jimmy Willis, the clerk at the gas station Sac-o-Suds. After finding out this knowledge the police officer has every right purse Billy and Stan the way he did. He had more than enough probable cause to handle the situation the way he did.

The police officer also has no idea if the 357 Magnum Revolver is on the two kids or not. The next difference I picked up on would be that when the two teens were brought in for their booking process they were never read their Miranda rights. Although Sherif Farley does ask if he is aware of his rights before he started to talk to Billy. Towards the end of the questioning Billy realizes he is being accused of murder and not stealing a can of tuna. During this process according to our text they were not shown a proper booking. “Booking is the process in which suspects’ names, the charges for which they were arrested, and perhaps their fingerprints or photographs are entered on the police blotter” ( Bohm –Haley, 2008, Pg.285).

With this being said they did not get any fingerprints taken and they were never told what the charges were that they were being arrested for. As I stated earlier Billy and Stan were under the impression of shoplifting a can of tuna. Once Billy realized that he and Stan were being charged with murder and an accessory to murder. Billy says “I shoot the clerk! I shoot the clerk” in shock and sheriff Farley takes that as his confession.

Some of the similarities to the criminal justice system in this movie is in the beginning of the movie when Billy and Stan are being booked in the police department. The first one I realized watching the movie through the first time was that they were given their one phone call. Billy was given one phone call and he elected to call his mother who then directed them to his cousin Vinny who just so happened to be an attorney. This also relates to our system because they were given the right provide their own attorney. Stan also a little later on choose to meet with the public defendant which relates to our criminal justice system since if you can not afford to provide an attorney, an attorney will be provided for you. Even though later on Stan opted to go back with Billy’s cousin Vinny. Another case that the movie related to our criminal justice system is that it used the due process model.

They were allowed the right to a trial to determine if they were guilty or not guilty. Even though Vinny broke many rules in the trial since he was not aware of the rules and regulations that go on in the trial. Along with that this movie also is similar to our system in the way that Vinny was given a copy of all of Mr. Trotters files that he has on the case. This relates to our modern day system since it showed how trotter disclosed all of his files and witnesses to Vinny. After getting this Vinny cross examines all of Mr. Trotters witnesses to get information to support his case in proving Billy and Stan not guilty. This movie also did have a grand jury to participate in the trail between Billy Gambinni and Stan Rothenstien versus the state of Alabama. Within the trail also it showed that Vinny had the right to call up witness who had testified at an earlier time to come up and be questioned again for cross examination and in doing so he was able to prove his point and prove that Billy and Stan are not guilty.

With the conclusion to watching this movie I would say it is a good movie for someone to get the feel for the criminal justice system. They should be aware that there are some scenes that they should take with a grain of salt since it is a movie and is meant to be comical but all in all I think it is a ok movie for starting to learn the process. I feel this will help me since I am a visual learner and I will be able to relate our criminal justice system to scenes in the move, whether it be me remember that before I question someone I must make sure they have be awarded their booking rights. Along with making sure that I always read them their Miranda rights.

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