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REVIEW: Harry’s Law “Innocent Man” S1 E3

01 Feb

Tommy Jefferson MUST become a regular on this show!!   He is the best character on this show and I want to see him more.   That is one thing that DEK is so good at….creating these quirky, weird, but lovable characters that can make you laugh yet tug on your heart-strings.  He also does creepy very, very well.  Sometimes they are really good (Ally McBeal, Richard Fish, Alan Shore, Marilyn Peters, Joey Heric) and sometimes they cross over into annoying rather than charming (John Cage, Liza Bump, Denny Crane, Shirley Schmidt.)  For me, as long as they don’t cross over into the ridiculous, like Denny Crane, I’m all for it!

Chinese Law in the USA

I was really looking forward to this case getting to the Ohio Supreme Court because I wanted to see how it would rule.  My guess, since it never made it there, was that it would go against DEK’s supposed sympathetic business owner, and DEK can’t have that!  So it wraps up with Adam giving Tommy an offer to give her her job back but Tommy doesn’t bring it to his client and so Adam goes to tell her about the offer.  What Adam did was wrong on so many levels but ultimately, I think, he did the right thing because she needs to know that her attorney isn’t doing what is in her best interests.  When she goes to approach Tommy about it, you can see all he cares about is his day in the spotlight and not what she wants….which is her job back.  She fires him and takes the deal.

The one thing I wish would have happened is whoever threw that brick through the Lao’s business window should have been arrested!   I side with the protestors on this that he shouldn’t have fired that woman because she was having another child and he doesn’t have the right to enforce Chinese Law in the US.   But he certainly does not deserve to have his business vandalized either.  You can protest and disagree with how he runs his business but people have no right to get violent or destructive about it.  And even though I disagree with Mr. Lao and his “one child only rule” I don’t like that he backed off his opinion because he feared for his family.  He has the right to fight for what he believes in a court of law, whether we agree with it or not, and no one should be intimidated by violence not to do so.  So I would have liked to have seen more on that.

Billy Joel Sang It…I AAAAAAAAAm An Innocent Man!

Eugene Young is back on my screen!!!   But he’s in jail…oh no!   Don’t worry, he didn’t do it.   This case was awesome.  An innocent man, wrongfully accused of murder, has been in prison for 25 years (if Bobby Donnell had his case he wouldn’t be) and now is before the parole board, again, to hear if his parole will be granted.  According to them, he has been a model prisoner, he has set up education programs for the inmates, he has worked with the new inmates on how to survive life peacefully in the prison system.  Quite frankly, they don’t want to see him go, selfishly, because he has been such a positive role model and made such a positive impact.  The only reason his parole has been denied is because he hasn’t shown remorse for his crime.  He hasn’t shown remorse because he didn’t do it.  He has nothing to be remorseful for.  But they won’t let him go.  The warden even told him, just to say he was sorry so he could grant his parole. So after 25 years and 2 other parole hearings, he has decided to lie and express his remorse.  The head of the parole board isn’t buying it and sees right through it so she denies parole again.

Harry’s pissed so she asks for a hearing in front of the appellate court which has been granted.   This scene was the best scene of the series so far.  It was so powerful and perfectly executed by all the actors in the scene.  What made it so compelling too, is that I could see both side of the argument.  Harry’s argument was that he shouldn’t have to admit his guilt and show remorse if he is innocent.  The appellate court says that for the purposes of parole, he is guilty.  He was found guilty in a court of law and they can’t have parole hearings turn into re-trials for the innocent.  And according to them Ohio is one of the states doesn’t make the accused admit guilt.  But Harry’s points out that even though that is the law, the parole board still wants to see the remorse.  If he expresses remorse, thereby admitting guilt, he can never clear his name, legally.  It’s fascinating to watch.  But just when the judges have had enough (because Harry was being quite snarky) Eugene stands up incensed that the judge has mentioned how his patience has run out.  He then gives a terrific speech:

“Your patience has run out?   That’s what you said?  Is that what you just said?  You’re out of patience.”  “Mr. Rollins, I’d advise you not to speak.”   “Yeah I got that advice 25 years ago from my public defender.  But this may be the only and last time I get to say my say in a courtroom.  You talk about respecting the system.  The system put me in here based on a lie.  Now you’re telling me I gotta lie to get out.  Is that the system you so respect?    Well I didn’t do it.  I. Did. Not. Do it!!!  Now I got to live with everybody thinking I did it.  Even my own son.  And now the guy who put me here, his conscience finally got the better of him and you don’t care.  You just worried about your damn system.  Well tell me when does conscience ever get the better of you?”

Wow.  What a scene.  It’s why I love law shows so much.  It brings up these debates that are so tricky.  It’s true, our justice system isn’t perfect.  But it is the best that’s out there in the world.  And you hope and you pray that the innocent go free and the guilty are condemned.  But that isn’t always the case.  And how do you right the wrong yet still do what’s in the letter of the law? It’s brutal.  The appellate court does compromise and sign an affidavit saying that Eugene doesn’t have to admit guilt or show remorse in order to be granted parole.  They ask if he has anything he wants to say.  He tells them that he is innocent of the crime but that he is sorry for something…his anger against the justice system and the people involved.  He tells them that he is sorry for all his rage towards them.  They didn’t put him in there and they are only doing their jobs by the letter of the law.  He tells him that he was a good man in prison and that he will be a good man on the outside.  Well, I would have walked over with the keys to his handcuffs right then and there, uncuffed him and driven him myself to anywhere he wanted to go.  They don’t go quite that far but they do grant his parole….yeah!!!!  Harry ends up driving him to his old neighborhood and he thanks her for all she did for him.  Then she sits in her car and watches a free man take his first walk down the street in 25 years!

If there was one area that I could nit pick on, it was the scene with Harry and the prosecutor.  She is trying to convince him to back her on her claim of innocence and he can’t do that without something concrete.  He brings up very valid points that everything she is telling him, while it could be true, is hearsay and he needs proof.  He tells her to bring him some evidence and he will look into it but without evidence there is nothing he can do.  She then yells him “could you at least pretend like you give a crap.”  This is where she annoys me.  By saying, bring me evidence and I will reopen the case, IS him showing he gives a crap.  The prosecutor isn’t going to blindly believe her and the priest without evidence.  As a lawyer she should know that!!!!  We can’t have lawyers going around saying, “he’s a nice guy, he didn’t do it, trust me” and other lawyers saying “sure ok, I’ll trust you, release him!!”  You want to talk about a bad justice system then!  It’s a TV show, I get it, but seriously Harry?  And she kept giving Eugene grief about his glares the whole show.  Has she ever looked at her face?  She walks around the whole show with a scowl on her face that could melt an ice truck.  Would it kill her to smile just once?

I am going to save my comments on the woman who wants to sue a fast food restaurant for opening up and making her fat for next week.  That case is really going to fire me up because she is RIDICULOUS!!!!  But more on that next week.

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